Saturday, October 1, 2022

Does Toothache Cause Neck Pain

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How Can I Prevent A Toothache

Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches:

  • Brush regularly with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • See your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning.

Also, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.

Humana Can Help With Dental Treatment

If you need dental treatment, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

  • “The Possible Link Between Your Headache and Your Toothache,” Verywell Health, last accessed November 13, 2020,, opens new window.
  • “The Possible Link Between Your Headache and Your Toothache.”
  • “The Possible Link Between Your Headache and Your Toothache.”
  • “How Dental Problems Can Trigger Migraine Headaches,” Web MD, last accessed November 17, 2020,, opens new window.
  • Dental care

    This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult your doctor to determine what is right for you.

    Links to various other websites from this site are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana of these sites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained therein. Humana disclaims responsibility for their content and accuracy.

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    Headaches Caused By A Sinus Infection

    Also called sinusitis, a sinus infection results from swelling of the tissues that line the sinuses – empty, air-filled cavities in a person’s cheekbones, forehead, and nose. In total, each person has four pairs of these air-filled spaces. The sinuses produce mucus, which normally drains through the nasal cavity. If these spaces become blocked, the mucus may build up. An infection may develop as a result.

    Tooth pain and headaches are two of the most common signs of sinusitis. Most people notice pain in the top teeth at the back of the mouth. This is because the back of the mouth is located closest to the sinuses in the cheekbones and nose.

    The best way to prevent sinus infections and related discomfort is to avoid allergens and irritants, which might cause a blockage. People with asthma should take their medication as recommended, as they are at increased risk. In some cases, if a person experiences repeated sinus infection, a doctor may recommend a steroid spray to prevent a recurrence.

    Treatments for sinusitis include over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, and saline nasal sprays to clear out the blockage. Nasal corticosteroids can also help treat inflammation. In rare instances, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

    Other Symptoms Of Tmj Disorder

    In addition, TMJ disorder causes your jaw muscles to pull on other parts of your body like the top of your head, your neck, and your shoulders. This can result in muscle aches, chronic headaches, and even inner ear pain. Dizziness, jaw popping, and difficulty opening your mouth are other symptoms of TMJ disorder.

    How To Get Rid Of Tooth Pain

    Can Toothache Cause Headache

    Is your dental pain bad enough to see a dentist? See a dentist if your dental pain is severe, if it lasts for more than a day or two, or if it is associated with a fever, ear pain, or pain when you open and close your mouth. A dentist may be able to diagnose the cause of your tooth pain based on a dental examination, or x-rays may be needed to identify the exact nature and location of your tooth pain. 

    • Broken Tooth or Cavity: If you have a broken tooth or a cavity, a dentist can fix the problem with a  or . 
    • Gum Disease: Tooth pain due to gum disease may require a technique called “scaling and planing,” in which a dental professional numbs your gums so he or she can use a special tool to remove plaque buildup from above and below the gum line.
    • Severe Gum Disease: If you have severe gum disease, a root canal may be needed to remove the decayed tissue within the tooth. 

    How A Knotted Muscle In Your Neck Can Make Your Tooth Hurt

      The muscle injuries sustained in a car accident can become chronic, and it’s important to know when your pain is more than just a muscle ache. Myofascial pain syndrome is a form of chronic pain involving trigger points in the muscles. What may start out as a sore knot in your neck can become an ongoing issue that triggers pain elsewhere in the body, even the teeth. 

      Injury from an auto accident can create sensitive areas of tight fibers to form within the muscles, causing tender knots to develop. These knots may cause aching pain when pressed. Over time, pain may migrate to other areas of the body. Myofascial pain is a common cause of head and neck pain

      Toothache Pain: When Does It Become Something To Worry About

      Toothaches are awful, aren’t they?

      In fact, they are really high up there on the “pain scale” — at least in my mind . I mean, think about it — they are painful enough to drive someone to go see a professional who will drill into said teeth . So yes, toothaches hurt.

      Oftentimes, a patient will come in and say “Dr. Connelly, this toothache is killing me.” Which, while certainly descriptive, is probably not the truth … or is it?

      Before we get started, let me come right out and tell you that no, a normal, classic toothache cannot kill you. Yes, the pain might seem like it can and the underlying issues that caused the toothache could possibly be fatal if left untreated. And, to pile on, some rather nasty afflictions list jaw and tooth pain as symptoms. But no, a toothache, in and of itself, isn’t fatal, so relax.

      I do want to take this time to go over what generally causes a toothache, and discuss the possibility of “dying from a toothache.”

      To begin, a toothache that is really a toothache can be caused by a variety of reasons:

      • Decay/Cavities: The “classic” toothache cause is a simple cavity. Bacteria gets where it shouldn’t and “viola,” you have pain. The cure is usually a simple filling.

      • Cracked Tooth: Sometimes, teeth break without having a cavity or the like. This can cause toothaches.

      Let’s move along now and talk about a few other afflictions that list “toothache” as a symptom:

      Until next time, keep smiling.

      Who Is Most Often Affected

      The following people are more often affected by jaw pain.

      • Women between the ages of about 30 to 50 seem to be most often affected: However, anyone can have the symptom of jaw pain.
      • Anyone with the constant habit of chewing gum may find themselves with jaw pain: This is due to simple overuse of the chewing muscles.
      • If you wear orthodontic braces you may experience jaw pain: This is due to the forces trying to readjust the alignment of your teeth.
      • Sitting with poor posture with your head forward: Such as when looking at a computer screen all day, is sometimes associated with TMJ pain

      Can A Toothache Cause Neck Pain

      As discussed above, neck pain is usually felt if you have problems with wisdom teeth and infection or an abscess. However, for the benefit of this article, we are just going to concentrate on it being a symptom or effect of an abscess or infection. Let us now find out how a toothache can lead to neck pain.

      What To Do If You Have A Dental Abscess

      You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess. Avoid visiting your GP, as there is little they can do to help.

      You can get help from:

      • your registered dentist – if it’s out of hours, they should have an answerphone message with details of how to access out-of-hours dental treatment
      • NHS 24 service – who can give you details of dental services in your area
      • your local clinical commissioning group  – who can tell you the phone number of your local dental access helpline
      • your local accident and emergency department – if there are no other options or you’re having difficulty breathing

      You may have to pay for emergency NHS dental treatment, depending on your circumstances. Read about NHS dental charges.

      Can A Toothache Make Me Sick Or Even Be Fatal

      A toothache itself isn’t fatal. But an untreated infection in your tooth can spread. You can become sick, and this illness could turn into something serious or even life-threatening. So if you toothache isn’t getting better it’s a good idea to contact your dentist.

      Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/23/2020.


      Great Oral Hygiene Will Go A Long Way

      The tooth may appear to be tiny but may cause many possible illnesses and symptoms. Dentists can never emphasize enough the need for great oral hygiene. After all, many tooth-related problems like cavities and abscessed tooth and gums can be prevented with proper oral hygiene.

      A regular trip to the dentist will also go a long way in preventing teeth-related problems that cause so much pain and discomfort!

      Tailoring Treatment To Your Needs

      Does molar bruise cause pain in the ear? How does the ...

      TMJ treatment can be very effective in relieving painful symptoms, including headaches and neck and shoulder pain. The key is to have treatment as early as possible, before inflammation in the jaw joint becomes severe. And it’s also very important to select a treatment that’s tailored to what’s causing joint irritation in the first place.

      As a neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Scott Young is skilled in diagnosing the underlying cause of TMJ and in creating custom treatment plans focused on achieving optimal results. Many patients benefit from a custom-fit mouth guard that’s worn at night to prevent jaw strain caused by clenching and grinding habits. The guard provides a cushion for your teeth so stress on the muscles is relieved, and it also protects the surfaces of your teeth so grinding and clenching won’t damage them. For most TMJ patients, Dr. Young recommends a special mouth guard used to treat migraines. Because the guard only covers the front teeth, it’s more comfortable than larger mouth guards commonly used in TMJ treatment, but it’s just as effective. Fitting and fabrication of the guard can be completed in a single office visit.

      Other treatment options include physical therapy and gentle stretching to relieve inflammation and muscle stress, nerve stimulation to relax the jaw muscles, and biofeedback therapy to help reduce stress. If your teeth are badly damaged or very poorly aligned, other treatments may be recommended to help restore a normal bite balance.

      Tmj: Common Cause Of Pain

      Named for the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull, temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ affects about 10 million people, according to data from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. TMJ occurs when these joints become inflamed and irritated, sometimes as a result of trauma, but more often from other causes like:

      • Poorly aligned teeth
      • Clenching or grinding habits
      • Arthritis

      Normally, your teeth work in pairs — upper and lower. Missing teeth or teeth that are poorly aligned or misshapen throw off your bite balance, and that places a lot of extra strain on your jaw joints. Over time, that excess strain irritates the joints, causing inflammation. The muscles that control your jaw movements also become irritated and sore. Sometimes, you may develop a clenching or grinding habit as your jaw attempts to bring your teeth back into ideal alignment. Interestingly, while grinding and clenching can cause or contribute to TMJ, they can also be caused by the disorder.

      As the inflammation inside the joint continues, many patients develop clicking noises when they open their mouths or chew. Sometimes, the jaw may feel like it’s “sticking” in an open position. In very severe cases of TMJ, the joint may become so inflamed, it can be painful to close your mouth.

      What Dental Health Conditions Cause Headaches And How Can You Prevent Them

      Oral health encompasses the teeth, gums, and underlying jawbone. This section identifies problems in these areas that can lead to toothaches and subsequent headaches, and how to potentially prevent them.

      With any of the following issues, it’s critical to seek treatment for the root cause. While painkillers will temporarily eliminate pain caused by toothaches and headaches, they won’t fix the underlying problem. Furthermore, overreliance on painkillers can result in dependency problems. Dental pain has been identified as a common motivation for first encounters with opioids, a common source of addiction.

      This section explains what people can do to help prevent these health issues – and what they can do if they are already experiencing headaches and toothaches due to these causes.

      Headaches Caused By Bruxism

      Bruxism refers to teeth grinding or clenching. Many people unconsciously perform this behavior, for example, while they are sleeping or stressed. Bruxism reportedly leads to dull pain in the head, often starting behind the eyes and “wrapping around” the head.

      This may be accompanied by sore jaw muscles and a clicking sound in the jaw joint when a person tries to open or close their mouth. Another problem with bruxism is that the clenching and grinding can wear down the enamel, which increases the risk of decay and damage – as mentioned above.

      People with bruxism can benefit from a tailor-made mouthguard crafted by a dentist. Wearing this at night cushions the teeth, helping to prevent headaches and toothaches.

      However, the cure for bruxism depends on the underlying cause. While a mouth guard helps prevent toothaches and headaches, it doesn’t cure the cause. Possible treatments include Botox injections to relax the muscles in the jaw or medication for stress and anxiety.

      Severe Pain When Biting Food

      ·        Possible Ailment:  You or your child may have severe tooth decay, a loose filling or a cracked tooth. There may also be damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth.

      ·        Remedy:  Schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth is cracked, the dentist may possibly refer you to an endodontist. A root canal will probably be the solution in order to relieve the pain.

      Headaches Caused By A Neck Problem

      Headaches stemming from a neck problem are usually chronic and vary in type depending on the cause. Common examples include:

      • Cervicogenic headache . CGH usually begins as a dull ache in the neck and radiates upward along the back of the head, almost always affecting just one side. Pain may also spread to the forehead, temple, and area around the eyes and/or ears. CGH is caused due to an underlying disc, joint, muscle, or nerve disorder in the neck.

      Warning Signs Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

      • Pain – For patients with impacted wisdom teeth, earaches, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches are no stranger. Due to their position in the back of your jaw, they can easily become irritated and negatively affect the TMJ joint or your sinuses. So, if you have any abnormal pain, tender glands, or difficulty opening and closing your mouth, then make sure to speak with your dentist right away. 
      • Swelling – When new teeth erupt, some subsequent swelling is natural. However, if one or more of your wisdom teeth are impacted, then it can result in swelling around the jaw, in the glands on your neck or shoulder, and your sinuses. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to undergo a dental exam with your dentist.
      • Bad Breath – An unpleasant odor in your breath could be a result of impacted wisdom teeth. Since they are located in the back of your jaw, they are difficult to clean and can easily become a breeding ground for the germs that cause bad breath. To keep your oral health in tip-top shape and your breath minty-fresh, call your dentist when you first notice symptoms.

      Referred Tooth Pain To Your Head

      In addition to a toothache triggering a migraine, tooth decay or advanced gum disease can “refer” pain to the head.

      Referred pain means that you feel a painful sensation in a different area of your body than the body part actually causing the pain. Again, this is due to the many nerve connections that connect the teeth and other facial structures to the brain.

      It’s common for a person to go see their doctor for tension-type headaches or migraines when they really are experiencing a dental problem.

      Less Common Cause Types

      Common Toothache Causes And Types

      Causes of jaw pain that are less common include the following.

      • Anxiety: This leads to tension, which can lead to tooth grinding and jaw clenching. The actions can cause damage and uneven wear to the surface of the teeth, which then causes uneven pressure on the joints of the jawbones.
      • Overusing the jaw muscles for chewing or even talking: This can leave these muscles sore and inflamed.
      • Abnormalities of the jaw: These can be treated by dentists and other specialists.
      • Myofascial pain syndrome: This is where “trigger points” small areas of very tight, contracted muscle tissue cause pain when touched or pressed.

      When To See Your Doctor

      If you experience a new toothache and/or headache, be sure to see your doctor. Figuring out the underlying diagnosis can be tricky, even for your healthcare provider, so it’s important to be persistent about finding the cause.

      For instance, if you still have no relief after undergoing dental procedures for toothaches, talk to your primary care doctor about seeing a headache specialist, , or ear, nose, and throat doctor.

      Headaches Neck Pain And More

      Headaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain occur over time as the strain in your jaw “migrates” into the jaw and facial muscles. Grinding and clenching — especially when they occur for hours at a time while you sleep — increase the tension in these muscles. 

      Headaches and muscle pain associated with TMJ are often worse in the morning after a night of clenching and grinding. Sometimes, pain persists throughout the day, especially if the muscles form “knots” or trigger points of tight muscle tissue. Jaw joints may feel tender when pressed, but it’s common to have headaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain even when there’s no noticeable tenderness around the jaw joints.

      Dental Problems That Can Cause Headaches And Dizziness

      Did you know that persistent or constant headache pain can be treated more effectively by your dentist than your general physician? The cause of headaches is often elusive; they can range from mildly irritating to unrelentingly painful. Since frequent headaches can adversely affect the quality of your life, if you experience persistent pain that does not clear even after being treated by a physician, you may wish to see your dentist.

      Dizziness is the feeling of being woozy, unbalanced, or lightheaded. However, it is not a disease but rather a symptom of various dental problems or health disorders. Here are dental problems that can lead to headaches and dizziness:

      • Root Canal Complications

      Complications from root canal treatment may result in headaches and feelings of dizziness or vertigo. Problems usually occur when dealing with an inexperienced dentist or when the root canal equipment breaks. Severely-curved canals may lead to incomplete feeling. Canal perforation is another challenge, as is overfilling. Infections coming from canal procedure can cause dizziness; however, reaction to specific pain medications following such procedure may also cause lightheadedness or dizziness.

      • Bruxism and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

      When Is Headache And Neck Pain Serious

      Immediate medical attention is advised in neck pain and headache associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

      • Pain and numbness radiating down one or both arms
      • Stiff neck with high fever and/or headache
      • Headache triggered by coughing, sneezing, running, bending, straining with a bowel movement, or Valsalva maneuver
      • Seizures, slurred speech, loss of balance and blurry vision
      • Unintended weight loss or nausea

      See When Is a Stiff Neck Serious?

      These symptoms may indicate serious underlying conditions such as aneurysms, , stroke, or tumor. Neck pain as a result of trauma to the base of the skull must be considered as an emergency and treated without delay.

      How Do You Get A Toothache To Go Away Fast

      Use these effective natural home remedies for toothache to reduce the pain to some extent.

      Clove oil – Take a cotton ball and put 2 drops of clove oil on it. Place the cotton ball against your affected tooth itself until your ache reduces. Or, place a full clove on your tooth and chew it a little bit for releasing its oil. Keep the clove in place until the pain recedes.

      Ginger-cayenne paste – Combine equal parts of these 2 spices with sufficient water and make a paste. Take a small cotton ball and roll it into enough paste in order to saturate it. Place the cotton ball on your affected tooth while avoiding your tongue and gums. Leave it until you get pain relief.

      Saltwater swishes – Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water. Use it as a mouthwash to remove irritating debris and food particles. Swish the saltwater for around 40 seconds and spit it out.

      Peppermint tea – Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves into one cup of boiling water and steep for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the tea cools, swish the tea around in your mouth, and then swallow it or spit it out.

      Swish with hydrogen peroxide – Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash. Swish 3 percent hydrogen peroxide around in the mouth. Spit it out, and then use plain water to rinse several times. If 3 percent is a bit strong, water it down by adding some water.

      Brush – Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

      What Causes Jaw Pain And Toothache

      Toothache and jaw pain can be caused by a number of reasons. For some people, the pain from even a small issue can be very severe, but for others, severe issues can lead to surprisingly little pain. It all depends upon the person, their pain tolerance, what teeth and nerves are involved, and many other factors. Here are the four common causes.

      1.    Grinding

      Also known as bruxism, this is a condition in which you might grind your teeth while you sleep. This pressure can be caused by anxiety, anger, depression, and many other psychological reasons. It might also be a physical reason, such as misalignment of the teeth. If you are aware of grinding your teeth, you might be able to stop it during the day – but if you do it at night, chances are that you have no idea until you wake up in the morning and your jaw hurts.

      2.    Impacted Wisdom Teeth

      Your wisdom teeth are those teeth at the very back of your mouth that tend to show up in your late teens or twenties, though they might not show up at all. If there isn’t enough room for them to come in, they can become impacted, which means they remain underneath the jaw. This can lead to serious pain.

      3.    Tooth Abscess

      An infection underneath or around a tooth can lead to serious pain and pressure, and besides that, you can deal with fever and flu-like symptoms. Removal of the tooth or draining of the abscess is required, as well as a course of antibiotics.

      4.    Trench Mouth

      5.    TMJ Disorders

      6.    Arthritis

      What Is The Trigeminal Nerve And Where It Is Located

      Trigeminal nerves are the largest sensory nerves in the brain that detects almost all the headache and toothache at the same time. Located within the head, the trigeminal nerve is mainly responsible for passing on sensations from your face to your brain. The trigeminal nerve also controls the muscles meant for chewing. Because of this connection, a toothache can give you a headache. Other reactions to a toothache like a jaw tightening and muscle clenching can also cause headaches.

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