You’re used to blaming your headaches on allergies, blocked sinuses, illness, stress, food triggers, and countless other known causes. But if you’ve never considered dental issues as a possible culprit, maybe you should.
Here at Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults, Dr. Joseph Yousefian specializes in getting to the bottom of your dental issues -- including the other health problems they may cause. He and his team analyze your symptoms to bring you much-needed relief for your dental-related headaches.
Here are some of the dental conditions that may be causing that pain in your head.
You have a bad bite
Your teeth are amazing. Your 32 adult teeth work in unison to cut, crush, shred, and grind your food so that you can stay nourished and healthy. However, when they don’t work and play well together, it causes problems, such as damage to your teeth, undo stress on your jaw and face muscles, and an uneven bite — one of the main reasons for dental-related headaches.
Technically, an uneven bite is called maloclusion, but whatever name you use, it means that your teeth don’t meet each other the way they should. The result is a chain reaction of small adjustments in your mouth that end up causing pain in your jaw, face, and skull, which results in a headache.
Here are just a few of the things that could cause your bite to go bad:
- Missing tooth/teeth
- A high crown
- Ill-fitting dentures
A bad bite is one of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a condition in which you suffer from pain in your jaw and the surrounding muscles.
You grind or clench your teeth
Another sign of TMD is grinding. Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep, clench them when you’re stressed, or chew gum a lot, that intense pressure overworks your temporomandibular joint. And because that joint connects your jaw to your skull, you’ll naturally experience not only jaw pain, but maybe a headache, too.
Dentists call this grinding bruxism, and it can cause more than a headache. If you grind your teeth, you may notice:
- Fatigued jaw muscles
- Worn-down or chipped teeth
- Neck or face pain
Bruxism may be due to heredity, stress, personality, or certain medical conditions, but it can often be treated successfully. Dr. Yousefian evaluates your individual situation and determines the cause of your bruxism, then decides whether a mouth guard will help relieve your pain or if dental adjustments are the way to go.
You have a tooth infection
When infection sets in, it’s all hands on deck, and your entire immune system kicks into gear to fight bacteria and disease. When the infection is in your mouth or your tooth, all the surrounding nerves come into play and can transfer pain to your head, and voila — headache.
The primary nerve in your head, called the trigeminal nerve, reaches out to all the areas of your face, head, and mouth. So if you have infected, inflamed tissues in your teeth or gums, the pain travels along the network of connected nerves and can culminate in a headache.
See Dr. Yousefian right away if you suspect an infection or abscess. He can let you know if the problem can be solved with antibiotics or another dental procedure.
If you’re having headaches and suspect they’re related to dental problems, call our office today or click the “request appointment” button to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yousefian.