Any Connection between a Toothache and a Headache?

Any Connection between a Toothache and a Headache?

February 1, 2022

If you are dealing with a toothache and a headache simultaneously, you might wonder whether the two conditions are related. In reality, they are because your toothache might trigger a headache. Alternatively, the symptoms might be an underlying health issue such as sinus infections or TMJ disorders.

This article focuses on some of the connections between toothaches and headaches to make you aware of what it means for your care. Please continue reading to understand the connection between toothaches and headaches.

Toothaches Triggering Migraines

There are various reasons why you may develop a toothache, including tooth decay, cracked teeth, or impacted wisdom teeth. When you leave these conditions untreated by overlooking visits to your dentist, you may also develop migraines. Migraines cause throbbing pain on one side of the head associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to heat and light.

Experts think the trigeminal nerve plays a role in connecting toothaches and migraines. The cranial nerve controls movements and sensations of the face and the eyes. Most of your face receives feelings from the trigeminal nerve, including your upper and lower lips, teeth, and gums. The trigeminal nerve plays a significant role in triggering migraines. The pain from the toothache irritates the nerve to trigger a migraine.

Radiating Tooth Pain to Your Head

Tooth decay can radiate pain to the head if you leave it untreated. Radiating pain indicates you feel a painful sensation in a different part of your body than the body causing the pain in reality. Here again, the pain is due to the various nerve connections via the cranial nerve connecting the teeth and other facial structures of the brain. Therefore if you have tooth decay and experience headaches, you must visit the dentist in Pittston to have the tooth filled and find relief from the discomfort.


Bruxism is a classic example of radiating pain to the head. Bruxism is characterized by teeth grinding and clenching unconsciously when sleeping. The headaches resulting from bruxism are often described as dull, wrapping around the head and occurring behind the eyes. Alternative symptoms of bruxism are sore teeth and jaw muscles, jaw joint clicking, and challenges opening and closing the mouth.

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

Rarely an untreated dental infection causes cavernous sinus thrombosis, a life-threatening blood clot in the cavernous sinus. The cavernous sinus is a space in the brain behind the eyes. The clot results from infections in the face or head spreading to the brain. The primary symptom of this condition is a severe headache, often behind the eye or the forehead. In addition, you may experience other symptoms, which include high fever, weakness in eye movement, and eyeball protrusion.

When to Contact Your Dental Healthcare Provider?

If you experience a toothache and headache, simultaneously do not hesitate to visit your dental health care provider or even the emergency dentist near me. However, determining the underlying diagnosis of your condition poses challenges even to your dental Provider. Therefore you need to be persistent and try to find out the cause.

For example, if you find no relief after undergoing treatments for toothaches, discuss the issue with your healthcare provider, who may recommend seeing a headache specialist, neurologist, or ENT specialist to figure out the precise reasons for your headaches.

Summarizing whether your toothache and headache are connected is complicated. For example, toothaches can trigger migraines, or dental conditions like bruxism can radiate pain in your head. Additionally, there are some conditions unrelated to dental or primary headache disorder. These include sinus infections, TMJ disorders, and trigeminal neuralgia. Therefore working with your healthcare provider is vital to determine the underlying cause and source of the discomfort.

Finally, getting to the bottom of your toothache or headache is a tedious and challenging process. However, you can rest assured that you can move forward with your treatment plan after a diagnosis. The method for treating these issues is simple and requires getting a cavity filled or taking antibiotics for sinus infections. It can also become complicated but not impossible because wearing a nightguard to prevent the triggering of bruxism can also provide relief from the simultaneous headaches and toothaches you confront.

If you are a victim of the conditions mentioned above and seek a remedy against them, please contact Polit and Costello Dentistry for a simple solution that provides immense relief.