Can Toothache Cause Migraine, and Why?
Hi, I’m Dr Kim Nguyen, one of the dentists here at Pitt St Dental Centre in Sydney CBD.
Last night, I received a text message from one of our long-term patients, Julie from Mosman. Her text said, “Hi Dr Kim, I’ve been having a bad migraine for a few days now. I’m not sure, but I think it’s the bad tooth that you told me to get fixed that’s causing it. Is that possible?”
What Julie experienced is more common than what you think, so I thought I’ll a quick video explaining the relationship between a toothache and a migraine.
To answer Julie’s question – Yes, a toothache can cause migraines.
Now, to put it simply, the nerves in your mouth, the teeth, gums and the jaw, all link up to the brain via the cranial nerves. So, for example, if you do have a toothache, the pain can radiate up and into the head and can affect the whole side of the face.
If there is an infection in the tooth or your gums, it can spread to the surrounding areas, which can also cause significant discomfort in the forms of headaches, sinus pain, tension in the jaw or even refer pain to your neck and back.
addition, if the teeth are extremely worn down from teeth grinding or other habits, it can cause temporomandibular joint disease, also known as TMD. This is also associated with headaches and migraines.
So if you have been having migraine for a while, and your doctor couldn’t diagnose it, maybe it’s time to visit a dentist and get another professional opinion. If this is you, we would love to help.
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