Let’s face it, migraines are just awful. They’re debilitating headaches and can have several different causes, including tooth pain. If you’re plagued by migraines and have ruled out other issues, like sinuses, stress, or a lack of sleep, it may be worth a trip to the dentist to see if you have a tooth causing the trouble. Here are some things you need to know about migraines linked to dental pain.
Possible causes of a dental pain migraine
Our nerves are a connected web that span our entire body. Sometimes, discomfort in one area will cause pain in another, seemingly unrelated area. For example, you could have pain or tingling in your hand caused by a pinched nerve in your shoulder. Toothaches and headaches are both detected by the same, large nerve – the trigeminal nerve. That’s why some headaches are actually toothaches! Because the same nerve is responsible for detecting all of those pain signals, your body sometimes cannot tell the difference.
The pain could be coming from a(n):
- Missing filling
- Abscessed tooth
- Cracked or otherwise damaged tooth
- Gum disease
- Disorder, such as TMJ
These headache toothache combos (referred to as extended toothaches) are usually remedied by a visit to the dentist. Your dentist will take x-rays and perform an exam to determine the cause. After that, it’s a simple matter of fixing the problem; whether it’s filling a cavity, or prescribing antibiotics for an abscess. If you’ve tried different things to stop the migraines to no avail, get to your dentist. When it comes to dental problems, the longer you wait, the worse they get. So it’s better to get in as soon as possible. If you let a cavity go too long, you may find yourself in need of a root canal.
However, migraines can also masquerade as dental pain
In some cases, you may find that you’re experiencing the reverse. It is possible to experience severe tooth pain, and nothing be wrong from a dental standpoint. If a visit to the dentist yields a clean bill of dental health, your tooth pain could actually be a facial migraine. These are atypical types of migraine, and difficult to diagnose. The good news is, they’re easily treatable with medication. That’s why it’s so important to visit the dentist at the first sign of tooth pain! That way they can either fix the problem, or rule out dental trouble altogether. If any of this sounds familiar, call Dr. Chauvin’s office for an appointment! We’ll figure it out together.