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The Link Between Headaches and Dental Problems

Headaches of any kind can be debilitating, and those caused by dental problems are no different. Not only do you deal with throbbing, pounding headaches, but the pain can also radiate into your face, jaw, and neck muscles, making you feel miserable all over. 

Putting a bandaid on this pain can give you some temporary relief, but you might be covering up a serious oral health issue. 

John Sarris, DMD, and Thomas Copulos, DDS, at Dental Designs of Plantation are experts when it comes to identifying the link between your headaches and underlying dental problems and giving you the best treatment to help you find relief. 

Which dental problems cause headaches?

With all of the muscles, ligaments, bones, and teeth working together in your mouth, it’s no wonder that there are lots of things that can go wrong. Here are a few of the most common dental issues that have your head pounding. 

Toothaches

This is a catch-all term for the many issues that can afflict your healthy teeth. While your teeth are extremely strong, they’re also susceptible to a host of painful conditions. Cavities, infections, cracked teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, and impacted wisdom teeth are some of the most common culprits. 

If left untreated, toothaches can cause severe headaches like migraines. This is because the infection or injury often irritates the fifth of 12 cranial nerves, called the trigeminal nerve. This important nerve provides sensation to the majority of your face and is linked to migraine pain. 

We offer comprehensive preventive dental care and treatment options like root canals and tooth extractions to ensure that your dental problem stops triggering painful headaches. 

Bruxism

Another dental problem that can cause headache pain is bruxism. If you unconsciously clench your teeth during the day or grind your teeth at night, you suffer from bruxism and its resulting symptoms. 

Not only does bruxism cause throbbing headaches, but it can also lead to other serious issues like damaged teeth and jaw disorders. We’ve helped many patients kick their grinding and clenching habits with Botox® and Dysport®. Talk to us about whether or not they’re right for you. 

Bite problems

When your teeth aren’t properly aligned, you have a bite problem. Issues with alignment force your jaw muscles to work much harder when you chew. The constant strain on your jaw can irritate the trigeminal nerve and set off migraine and headache pain. 

The structure of your mouth and missing teeth are the most common reasons why you have a bad bite. Fortunately, we offer treatments like Invisalign®, full mouth reconstruction, bridges, dentures, and implants to fix your bite, complete your smile, and get rid of your headaches. 

TMJ

Are your headaches located in your ear, jaw, temple, and neck? Chances are you’re suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). 

You have one temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on either side of your face. They connect your jawbone to your skull and make it possible for you to chew and speak easily. 

Bruxism, lack of sleep, bad diet, poor cartilage, and cartilage issues can aggravate this joint and result in headache and facial pain. 

Treatment for TMJ begins with diet changes and regular jaw massages. Our dentists can recommend night guards to prevent night-time teeth grinding. Botox and Dysport are also effective in treating TMD and its accompanying symptoms. 

If you’re struggling with headaches and aren’t sure of the cause, come see Dr. Sarris and Dr. Copulos. Their expertise gets to the root cause of your headaches and can help you find relief. Call our office in Plantation, Florida, or schedule an appointment online to get started today.

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