Headaches Caused by Tooth Loss
Missing teeth, among many other consequences, can also result in chronic headaches. When teeth are missing, the opposing teeth, having no contacts, can over-erupt and cause tissue damage to the gums in the edentulous area. Missing teeth also cause traumatic contact on the teeth while eating, and even when just opening the mouth. This, in turn, can cause the jaw joint – the Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ)- to become stressed, often causing headaches.
What Causes Toothaches?
Toothache pain can be a very unpleasant and debilitating experience. In addition to feeling discomfort, your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or pain when biting or chewing food. Toothaches are oftentimes caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Tooth trauma
The cause of toothaches is determined during a thorough oral exam. Along with an oral exam, your medical history and sometimes dental x-rays will be taken into account for a proper diagnosis. If you show any sign of blood or puss, swollen gums, or fever it is important to consult with a dental professional before the symptoms worsen.
Toothaches and Headaches
One of the main causes of migraine headaches is toothaches. The face has many nerves, which transmit sensations between the brain and the nervous system. Headaches and toothaches are cohesively detected by the largest nerve in the head, known as the trigeminal nerve. Since both are controlled by this nerve, most toothaches can cause headaches.
Temporary Toothache Remedies
To help subside the toothache pain, there are some temporary remedies. One effective remedy is a salt water rinse. Swishing warm salt water in the mouth will help clean out and disinfect the affected tooth. If you experience swelling in the face, a cold compress will help reduce the inflammation as well as help to numb the area a bit.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
The temporomandibular joint disorder is a group of conditions related to the jaw joint and muscles that control the jaw that causes pain and discomfort. This joint acts as a sliding axis connecting the jaw bone to the skull. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Popping or clicking and locking of the jaw when chewing or biting
- Pain or discomfort
The pain and discomfort of TMJ disorder, however, is temporary and can be self-managed without requiring surgery. The common treatment for this disorder includes night guards to help prevent teeth clenching, medications, and physical therapy.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation, Today!
If you are missing one or more teeth and experience persistent headaches, you might be suffering from the TMJ disorder. Schedule a personal appointment with one of our highly experienced periodontists for a complete jaw evaluation. All of our periodontists have many years’ experience performing placement of dental implants, and they can determine whether receiving one or more implants might help alleviate your headache. To set up your appointment, please call us or request a consultation online.