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Are My Teeth Causing Headaches?

Most pain is a nuisance, but headache pain can stop you in your tracks. If you suffer from frequent headaches, you likely only want solutions to stop the pain. One of the ways you can stop your headaches is to understand what is causing them. You can look at your diet, behaviors, and lifestyle to see if you can find the triggers. 

If you can’t find an immediate cause, you should consider talking to your dentist. They may be able to help you identify dental or oral issues that are contributing to your headaches. 

woman experiencing a headache after working on laptop at home dentist in Dallas Texas

Jaw Pain

While your teeth can play a part in causing headaches, your jaw is likely the culprit. There are many tiny muscles in your face, jaw, and neck. If you clench your teeth or overuse these muscles, it can cause pain or discomfort. 

The joint in your jaw is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is responsible for opening and closing your jaw. If there is damage to the joint or it is disfigured, it is called a TMD or TMJ disorder. There are numerous reasons why you may develop TMD, including grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, or overusing the muscles. 

To treat jaw pain, your dentist may recommend wearing a custom mouthguard at night. Additionally, you may be able to do facial exercises or massages to help alleviate the pain. 

Tooth Damage

Tooth pain could be a potential cause of your headaches. However, there are many reasons why you could be experiencing tooth pain. Any damage to your tooth can cause pain or discomfort, which can lend itself to a headache. 

If you chip or break a tooth, it can expose the delicate inner portion of your tooth. Inside your tooth, there are nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. This portion is the pulp. So when the pulp is damaged, it can cause a headache.

Another way tooth damage can cause a headache is through bruxism. Bruxism is a condition where you may grind your teeth or clench your jaw. When this happens, you create tension in the jaw and face muscles. Therefore, patients who grind their teeth often have headaches. 

In addition to tension, bruxism can wear down the shape of their teeth over time. This can damage your enamel, increasing the likelihood of developing tooth decay. Damaged enamel can cause pain and sensitivity. Ultimately, this can contribute to headaches.

For treatment, your dentist may recommend a mouthguard for nightly use. Overall, this will help to avoid damage to your teeth and reduce tension in your jaw. 


An infection or an abscess can cause significant pain. Any pain that you have in your mouth can create a headache. Because all the nerves in your teeth and jaw are in the same area as your head, it can contribute to headaches.

If you have an infection, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection. However, they may also need to physically remove the infection, which may involve a root canal. Once the infection is gone, you should feel headache relief.