Can a Toothache Cause a Severe Headache?

Can a Toothache Cause a Severe Headache?

Posted by Kevin Fong DDS on Jan 18 2022, 07:36 AM

A toothache is usually a throbbing pain in and around your teeth or gums. It is a common indication of tooth decay, cavities, cracked teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, among other health conditions. 

However, there are times when you may experience a toothache and a headache simultaneously and you might have ruled out a possible relationship between them.

In this article, our dental care experts at Kevin D Fong DDS, Hayward, CA, explain the relationship between toothaches and severe headaches, and the reasons behind them.

What Causes Toothaches?

Your teeth contain a pulp that is made of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels. These nerves are very sensitive and can cause severe pain when they are irritated or infected by bacteria.

Some of the possible reasons for toothache are:

  • Tooth decay
  • Broken teeth
  • Abscesses
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Gum infection
  • Teeth eruption

Relationship Between Toothaches and Headaches

When you are experiencing a toothache along with a severe headache, then there is a strong possibility of a connection between the two. However, this can also indicate a serious underlying issue.

Keep reading to learn more.

Toothache and Migraines

The trigeminal nerve controls your facial and eye movements along with the sensations in your overall face, including your teeth. When this nerve is irritated due to dental issues like untreated cavities, a cracked tooth, or an impacted wisdom tooth, you may experience a migraine.

Migraines vary in intensity and are usually one-sided. They are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds.

Referred Pain

Referred pain is when you do not experience pain in the area that is causing it. Instead, the pain gets referred to your head. This can also be the result of advanced gum disease. 

A good example of this is bruxism or the habit of grinding your teeth that will cause you to feel pain either in the head or behind the eyes.

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

When an infection in the face or head spreads to the brain, it can cause a blood clot in the cavernous sinus, namely the space behind the eye. This is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by untreated dental issues and its major symptom is a severe headache.

Apart from these, other dental issues like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and trigeminal neuralgia can also trigger headaches.

To learn more about toothaches that can cause severe headaches, visit Kevin D Fong DDS, at 944 W Winton Ave, Hayward, CA 94545. You can also call (510) 783-1572 for an appointment.

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944 W Winton Ave, Hayward, CA 94545

Phone: (510) 783-1572

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Monday : By appointments only.

Tuesday : 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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Phone: (510) 783-1572