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The Link Between Headaches And Dental Problems

There’s nothing quite as painful and annoying as frequent, lingering headaches. They make it hard to work, concentrate and go about our daily routines. But now it’s being discovered that your nagging headache could be linked to your oral health! You may want to be consulting with your dentist in addition to your doctor, as dental pain and headache pain have a lot in common.

Toothaches and headaches are both transmitted through a nerve known as the trigeminal nerve. This is the largest sensory nerve in the head, and it supplies the teeth, jaw, face and scalp. If you experience pain in one branch of the trigeminal nerve, it can cause the other branches of the nerve to activate and become painful as well. This means that if you have a lingering toothache, it can trigger a headache. What a vicious, painful cycle!

In addition to the triggering of the trigeminal nerve, reflexive behaviors can also transfer and increase pain. For example, the clenching of your jaw; when you clench your jaw, your neck muscles will inadvertently contract. If this occurs over a period of time, the constant tightening of these neck muscles will cause pain to radiate into the face and head, causing headaches.

If these injuries go untreated for too long, the tissue inside of and below the teeth can become damaged. Once this happens, it will be more difficult for your doctor to figure out where the pain is coming from.

Luckily, this is where your dentist can step in! Dentists have a much better eye for the causes of orofacial pain, and are more likely to be able to catch it and treat it earlier.

If you’re suffering from unexplained headaches and you haven’t been able to get answers from your doctor, please consider making an appointment with Coastal Periodontics. Our wonderful dentist, Dr. Kate Wilson will be able to evaluate your jaw and determine if the pain is related to your mouth.

To make an appointment, please contact our periodontics office, located in Portsmouth, NH!

Posted on Jun 15, 2016
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