Poor Oral Health Could Trigger Migraines


Causes of Poor Oral Health that May Trigger Migraines

poor oral health


Did you know that dental issues can also cause migraines?

Over a billion people around the world suffer from migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Those who experience migraines know that a long list of factors can trigger an attack, including bright lights, allergies, high humidity, a change in barometric pressure, hormonal fluctuations, specific foods and smells, lack of sleep, and stress.

But now the results of a new study suggests that migraines may also be caused by poor oral health.

Sometimes, dental issues might be responsible for your migraines or worsen your migraine symptoms, making it easy to confuse migraines with dental pain.

Your migraine might be triggered by a toothache caused by untreated cavities, impacted wisdom teeth, or fractured teeth. The trigeminal nerve, commonly known as the fifth cranial nerve, is in charge of supplying feeling to your teeth, gums, upper lip, and lower lip. It is also associated with chewing and biting. A migraine might occur if a toothache irritates one of your trigeminal nerve branches.

According to the study, the most common dental issues linked to headaches and migraines include:

  • Bad bite: Smiles that feature missing, loose, sore, or misaligned teeth create a bad bite that forces jaw muscles to work harder to bring teeth together, swallow, and even to keep the mouth closed. This can lead to consistent muscle inflammation that can trigger a migraine or headache.

  • Teeth grinding or clenching: Clenching and grinding can also lead to muscle and gum inflammation, triggering headaches and migraines. Unfortunately, most people don’t know they grind their teeth, as the habit is often done unconsciously or while asleep. Sore jaw muscles, a clicking sound when opening the mouth, a constant dull headache that seems to come from around the temples or behind the eyes, sore teeth, trouble opening or closing the mouth, and biting the tongue are all potential signs of teeth grinding.

  • Tooth decay and gum disease: Tooth decay and advanced gum disease can “refer” pain to the head, making it seem like they’re experiencing a headache rather than tooth pain. A throbbing toothache can also trigger a migraine.