How Some Dental Problems Can Cause Regular Headaches

Frequent headaches are not only annoying, but can also be a little unsettling. It's easy to speculate, but have you ever considered that the issue might have originated in your mouth?

Dental Infection

The precise way in which referred pain affects your physiology is unclear. In its simplest terms, it means feeling pain in a part of your body that isn't in fact where the pain originated. While most dental infections are felt at the place where they originated, for some people, this pain can also manifest itself as a headache. It's unlikely that you would experience a headache isolated from a toothache, so if you're experiencing dental pain in addition to recurring headaches, there may be a link between the two. Having your dental infection treated means your sensory receptors will no longer be confused, so your headaches should clear up.

Teeth Grinding

Dental infections aren't the only tooth-related condition that may lead to headaches. Has your dentist ever mentioned that you grind your teeth? This condition—bruxism—is more prevalent at night, and so a lot of people are unaware that it's something they live with each day (or rather, each night). It's often a dentist who points it out, having noted the wear and tear on your teeth. This wear and tear may need to be corrected with a dental restoration if a significant amount of your dental enamel has been worn away. You should begin wearing a nightguard, which is a lightweight mouthguard to be used while sleeping. It prevents your upper and lower teeth from making direct contact with each other, and once that grinding has been stopped, your headaches will hopefully stop as well.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is quite a mouthful, which is why it's often just called TMD. It's a broad term, covering the dysfunction of the tendons and ligaments of your lower jaw, as well as the muscles that control them. The strain on the associated nerves can lead to headaches. While orthodontic treatment (such as braces) is often suggested as a possible treatment method for TMD, it might be that a previous dental problem has played a role. A deteriorating dental restoration or a missing tooth may have changed the configuration of your bite, leading to your temporomandibular joints straining. Although multiple forms of treatment may be suggested for TMD, having any dental issues corrected can help to alleviate your symptoms. 

There are multiple possible causes for frequent headaches, but if you have existing dental problems, you may have found the culprit. Contact a local dentist to see what they can do.