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Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Headaches?

As wisdom teeth emerge, they can instigate significant orofacial pain, which encompasses discomfort around the face, neck, head, or mouth. This pain often results from the added sinus pressure around the upper jaw as wisdom teeth grow, potentially triggering migraines or exacerbating existing ones.

Pain receptors in the head and mouth are interconnected. Discomfort felt in one area can amplify pain or symptoms experienced in a different region.

At Innovative Oral Surgery and Dental Care, we understand the complexities surrounding wisdom teeth and their potential impact on your well-being. Below, we’ll inform you about the connection between wisdom teeth and migraines, pain mitigation techniques, and head pain related to other oral health issues.

What is a migraine?

A migraine is characterized by repeated instances of sharp headaches that occur on one side of the head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

The discomfort is typically moderate to severe, featuring a throbbing and pulsating sensation that frequently affects one-half of the head.

Recognizing migraines caused by wisdom teeth

If you’re experiencing persistent headaches, here are some indicators that wisdom teeth could cause them:

  • Jaw strain or stress
  • Neck pain
  • Experiencing headaches directly after eating
  • Bad breath, despite regular oral hygiene
  • Dull ache in your molars
  • Discomfort when opening your mouth wide
  • Gum tissue inflammation
  • Difficulty swallowing

How do wisdom teeth cause migraines?

Wisdom teeth typically emerge between ages 17 and 25. The third molars are large, and therefore can cause inflammation and discomfort as they erupt. As they develop within your jaw, wisdom teeth can exert pressure on your gums, jawbone, and adjacent teeth, as well as the surrounding facial structures.

This pressure can extend to the sinuses, mainly affecting the area around the upper jaw, and can trigger migraines.

Easing headaches caused by wisdom teeth

If wisdom teeth are the root of your migraines, contacting a wisdom teeth removal doctor should be your first step. Here are a few at-home remedies you can use to relieve some of the pain:

  • Salt Water Rinse: Rinsing your mouth with a mix of salt and warm water can alleviate pain and keep your gums healthy, mitigating the potential for bacterial growth on emerging wisdom teeth prone to infection.
  • Aspirin: Regular over-the-counter aspirin can provide pain relief.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying cold packs to the jaw and cheek area can reduce pain and swelling, while warm pads relax muscles and boost blood circulation.

Other Problems Associated with Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can cause other health-related issues or discomfort, such as:

  • Tooth Decay: Partially impacted wisdom teeth are at a higher risk of decay.
  • Cysts: The sac in your jawbone that houses wisdom teeth can fill with fluid, turning into a cyst that damages the jawbone, nerves, and teeth.
  • Gum Disease: Hard-to-clean partially emerged wisdom teeth can lead to pericoronitis.
  • Damage to Neighboring Teeth: Awkwardly growing wisdom teeth can push against adjacent teeth, causing damage or infections.

Can other dental issues cause migraines or head pain?

Yes, dental issues like temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), bad bite, teeth grinding, or tooth decay can lead to headaches or eye pain. If you’re experiencing persistent headaches or eye discomfort, visit Innovative Oral Surgery to determine if the cause is related to your oral health.

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): This condition is commonly referred to as TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint is the point where the skull and the TMJ bone are in contact. The movement of these two bones can become abnormal due to some dental problems such as teeth grinding or blunt trauma. As a result, the patient may suffer from a headache, eye pain or neck pain.
  • Bad Bite: When teeth are absent, loose, or improperly aligned, it results in what is known as a bad bite. This condition can lead to strain on the jaw muscles, as they work harder than usual to align the teeth and maintain mouth closure, and individuals may experience headaches or even eye pain.
  • Grinding or Clenching the Teeth: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, often arises from stress and typically happens during sleep. This habit can lead to jaw irritation, potentially causing migraines and eye discomfort.
  • Tooth decay: Severe tooth decay can mimic a migraine, leading the individual to perceive it as a regular headache.

Find Relief with Innovative Oral Surgery and Dental Care

Struggling with headaches linked to wisdom teeth? Don’t wait. Let Innovative Oral Surgery and Dental Care help. We alleviate the pain and complications associated with wisdom teeth, always prioritizing your comfort and health.

Removing wisdom teeth could potentially provide lasting relief from pain or other associated symptoms. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.