You probably won’t be surprised to learn that some types of dental issues can cause headaches – after all your mouth is part of your head. But how can you tell if the pain and pressure in your head is a dental headache?
Most dental headaches are the result of muscular tension in the face and/or jaw. Sometimes this tension can be caused by stress behaviors like grinding your teeth, but they can also be caused by a bad bite alignment in the mouth. A bad bite alignment means the chewing surfaces of the teeth don’t meet along a smooth curve when the jaw is closed. This causes pain and soreness in the muscles in the jaw, which can then travel throughout the head.
Grinding your teeth, which is officially called “Bruxism,” is a common issue that even small children or infants can experience. The constant grinding of the jaw puts intense strain on the muscles of the face. If the muscles of your jaw are often sore or if you frequently wake up with a headache in the mornings, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Other dental issues that can cause headaches include Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJD. This disorder usually happens as a result of an injury to the temporomandibular joint. If you notice frequent “popping” or “clicking” of your jaw, this could be a sign of TMJD and might require treatment from your dentist. Finally, cavities, a tooth infection, or an abscess can also cause headaches.
If you think your headaches may be caused by a dental issue, it’s important to see your dentist for an evaluation. If you can’t make it to a dentist right away, over the counter pain medications may help – just make sure to check the label for dosing and safety instructions!
To make an appointment with a Valley-Wide dental provider, please call 1-833-350-1113.