Did you know that your headaches could be caused by your teeth? In fact, your teeth can give you headaches in several ways, and only a dentist can help treat them.
Simple cavities can cause headaches because of the trigeminal nerve, which is key in all of our reasons. Also known as CN V, this is the fifth cranial nerve. It’s the largest nerve in your head, and lets you feel sensation in your face, and is responsible for chewing and biting.
Cavities and other oral infections make the trigeminal nerve to send pain signals to your brain, which lets you know that your tooth hurts. But pain can also refer elsewhere. This means that the pain can be perceived at “a location other than the site of the painful stimulus”.
Referred pain can cause simple cavities or infections to appear as headaches, or aches along the sides of your head.
Misaligned teeth, or malocclusion, is defined as “incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close”. It includes relatively common things like overbites and underbites.
Your jaw and bite muscles have to work extra hard when chewing if you have a bad bite, and the resulting strain can cause tension headaches.
A bad bite can be treated with dental braces in the vast majority of cases. Yes, even for adults! How long you have to wear them for will vary from person to person, but will be worth it for a headache-free life.
Do you ever wake up with sensitive teeth, aching or tired jaw muscles, headaches, or soreness in your ears or face? You may suffer from bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding.
Teeth should only touch each other when you chew, swallow or talk. Studies have shown that this occurs for 15-30 minutes per day. Headaches and jaw pain often result from tired and clenching muscles that are working when they should be resting, for example while you sleep.
This may not sound very serious, but bruxism can ultimately cause cracked enamel, excessive strain on the jaw muscles, and, in rare cases, broken teeth and enlarged jaw size.
Bruxism is commonly divided into sleep bruxism and awake bruxism, and can have many causes and risk factors. Some of these include emotional stress, certain medications, substances like nicotine and caffeine, and anxiety.
Concerned with your dental health? Book an appointment online with one of our friendly and professional dentists today, and learn how they can help you.