When Your Headache is Really a Toothache

added on: May 17, 2021
woman in pain

Have you ever woken up with a headache, but your tooth or teeth kind of hurt too? How about the other way around? When this happens, your Philadelphia oral surgeon knows that it can be tricky to figure out what, if any, relation there is between the two and when it’s time to see us for some guidance and help.

The truth is, your toothache could be triggering all of this trouble, and when accompanied by a headache, it could be an issue that affects your jaw such as TMJ, a sinus infection, or bruxism (teeth grinding, especially at night).

Let’s dig a little deeper into this possible connection.

Recurring and Referring Head Pain

When you have a tooth that’s badly damaged due to decay or cavities, it can refer pain elsewhere in your body such as your head. How is this even possible? It’s because there are many delicate nerve endings in your teeth connecting them to other parts of your face and brain. When you’re going to your primary care provider and complaining about head pain and migraines, you may need to see a dentist or one of our oral surgeons in Montgomery, Bucks, or Philadelphia instead. Everything from pain and soreness in your jaw, eyes, head and neck can be traced back to your teeth. 

TMJ Disorder

Our oral surgeons have offices conveniently located in Langhorne and Doylestown in Bucks County, in Meadowbrook in Montgomery County, and in the Torresdale section of NE Philadelphia. We have seen many patients over the course of over 30 years, serving patients and families like you. We see how you go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, especially when it comes to finding the right solution for your oral and maxillofacial pain. One of the ways dentists are helping more patients find relief is by checking and testing for TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ or TMD can often manifest itself as aching, frequent pain in your jaw, mouth, neck, and head. Some studies estimate that nearly 10 million Americans are affected by TMJ in some way.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

You have a nerve in your body called the trigeminal nerve, and when it’s diseased you can experience completely debilitating facial pain. The extreme discomfort often attacks both your upper and lower jaw. Sometimes patients think they have an abscessed tooth or need a root canal when it could really be trigeminal neuralgia causing your problems.

Figuring out if your headache is a toothache or vice versa, is a job best left to the professionals and dedicated team at The Oral Surgery Group. With four offices in Langhorne and Doylestown in Bucks County, Meadowbrook in Montgomery County, and Northeast Philadelphia, we can see you and serve you generally within 24 hours after your call. Please reach out to The Oral Surgery Group at (215) 938-7860 to talk and schedule an appointment.

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