Can A Toothache Cause A Headache?

We just received a question via email – how can a toothache cause a headache? Please see our detailed answer below.

can a toothache cause a headache

by loudista under CC BY-SA


Toothaches are a nagging and extremely painful condition, centered around the teeth and jawbone areas, that occur in children, young adults, and even the elderly. Although toothaches are often associated with the teeth and jawbone areas, toothaches can also lead to headaches.

To effectively treat headaches caused by toothaches, it is important to understand tooth pain causes, accept the possibility that the current head pain could be the result of a toothache, and most importantly, be willing to thoroughly evaluate all possible treatments available to remedy the ailment.

This article will explain why headaches are caused by toothaches and provide solutions to ease and eliminate the pain.

Toothache Causes

Tooth pain is one of most unpleasant minor ailments suffered. A toothache is characterized as an extreme and persistent pain centered around the teeth and jawbone areas. Conditions such as gum disease, tooth root issues, cavities, and infections are the main causes of toothaches.

When these conditions, already present within the mouth, are combined with extreme food temperatures and liquids from chewing and swallowing, the end result is pain, known as a toothache. Although toothaches occur in the areas of the teeth and jawbone, toothaches can cause headaches.

Can A Toothache Cause A Headache? – The Facts

The answer to the question can tooth pain cause headaches is Yes. Since the causes of headaches are many, it can be easy to overlook toothache pain as a culprit. Let’s look at the cause of headaches and the role of tooth pain.

As pain transfers from the trigeminal nerve, due to untreated dental conditions, toothaches ensue, causing severe and excruciating headaches. Toothaches that cause headaches do not have to be severe.

The trigeminal nerve is the largest sensory nerve within the head, and when pain from a toothache transfers from the trigeminal nerve, pain can be induced throughout various outlets of the nerve, such as pain to the head, resulting in a headache. Despite the pain caused by toothaches and often resulting in headaches, treatment is possible.

Modern Headache Treatment Options

When evaluating the treatment of a toothache causing headache, medication is often the treatment of choice. Over-the-counter medicines, such as Motrin, are prescribed to relieve the pain associated with migraines, as well as reduce any inflammation that may be present within the mouth, as a result of toothaches. Therefore, your toothache and headache are treated at the same time.

Additional treatments for toothaches include mouth guards, which prohibit jaw clenching and tooth grinding, and certain dental procedures, such as teeth and gum cleaning, the filling of cavities, and the reduction of infection and inflammation.

Having a toothache can be an extremely nagging and painful ordeal, seeing as they often occur within the areas of the teeth and jawbone.

Although it is difficult to believe that they can actually lead to headaches, the trigeminal nerve, which is the largest sensory nerve within the head, easily transfers pain to the head, resulting in a migraine.

By understanding exactly what a toothache is and its symptoms, accepting the fact that toothaches can lead to migraines, and most importantly, evaluating possible treatments, headaches caused by toothaches can easily be eliminated.

One Response:

  1. Grand Rapids MI Dentist Says:

    A headache might be any pain in the head which is not a migraine. Nevertheless, certain head-pains aren’t headaches. Toothache, for example, is an apparent example, but typically toothache could cause ache in the head which is actually felt on the skull.

    This type of complicated ache is understood to medical doctors as referred ache (because it is being ‘referred’ from one a part of the body to a different).

Leave a Reply

Captcha Captcha Reload