Could Your Head or Neck Pain Be Caused By Your Teeth?

Published on August 09, 2021
Could Your Head or Neck Pain Be Caused By Your Teeth?

Could Your Head or Neck Pain Be Caused By Your Teeth?

If you’re suffering from headaches, neck pain or shoulder pain, it may surprise you to discover that one possible cause could be found in your mouth.

There are a number of oral health conditions that can result in pain that extends to these areas of the body, including bruxism (grinding your teeth), temporomandibular joint disorder, and wisdom teeth development.

Read on to learn about how certain dental issues can cause pain far beyond your teeth and mouth.

Bruxism and headaches

Bruxism is the name given to grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, which often happens at night. In addition to damaging your teeth, bruxism can often lead to pain across the head, jaw and neck, due to the strain placed on these areas. The type of headache associated with bruxism is described as a dull pain that wraps around the head or occurs behind the eyes.

Bruxism can also cause sore teeth, painful and tight jaw muscles, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. To find out about treatment options for bruxism, contact your local National Dental Care Group or DB Dental practice.

Head and neck pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) are common conditions often caused by teeth clenching, but can also result from dental issues (e.g. new fillings or dentures resulting in an uneven bite), joint wear and tear, and other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.

In addition to causing toothache, a TMD can be responsible for headaches, which generally start near the ear and move towards the jaw, temple or neck. These headaches are usually triggered by jaw motions, like chewing or opening and closing the mouth.

TMDs can be treated in a variety of ways, so speak to your local dentist about the best way to alleviate the symptoms of this condition.

The link between wisdom teeth and head or neck pain

Wisdom teeth usually grow (erupt) in your late teens or early twenties. While this can occur with no issues, in some cases - if there’s not enough room in the mouth, for example - wisdom teeth can become impacted and cause pain and discomfort.

If your bite and jaw position are forced to change due to wisdom teeth eruption, this can put pressure on the jaw and lead to headaches. What’s more, increased tension in the jawbone can spread to the neck, causing pain in this area too.

Impacted wisdom teeth will generally need to be removed to avoid further pain and complications. Speak to your local National Dental Care Group or DB Dental practitioner for advice and treatment options for wisdom teeth.

If you think your headaches may be related to an oral health condition, make an appointment with your local National Dental Care Group or DB Dental practice - you can book online today.

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