Can Migraines Cause Tooth Pain?

can migraines cause tooth pain - woman holding head and jaw

Can Migraines Cause Tooth Pain?

Toothaches and migraines are both painful and frustrating, especially when they’re combined. To find relief, you need to figure out what’s causing your pain. For instance, treating dental issues may help your migraines go away. But in some cases, your migraines could actually be the cause of your tooth pain. 

At Prescott Dentistry, we treat a variety of dental issues that can cause toothaches and migraines. If you’re experiencing migraines and tooth pain together, keep reading to find out what the connection is and what might be causing your discomfort. 

The Connection Between Migraines and Toothaches

What Is a Migraine?

A migraine is more than just a headache, it is a neurological disease that causes intense, throbbing pain, and often occurs only on one side of the head. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 

A migraine may be accompanied by:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tooth pain
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Throbbing or pulsing pain in the head
  • Visual disturbances, such as blind spots
  • Tingling or numbness in the face, arms, or legs

How Migraines Can Cause Tooth Pain

Migraine attacks typically cause pain in the upper parts of your head and face. However, sometimes the pain can occur lower and radiate to your teeth. In this case, what feels like a toothache is actually a migraine attack. In order to relieve migraine-related tooth pain, you first need to treat the migraine. 

If you frequently get migraines, you should speak with your doctor about treating them with prescription medication. Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and limiting your alcohol intake can all help prevent migraine attacks. There are also some at-home remedies you can try to relieve toothaches caused by migraines.

Next time you have a toothache from a migraine, you can try: 

  • Applying a cold compress to the affected area
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication
  • Lying down in a dark room
  • Drinking water
  • Sleeping

Mouth Problems That Can Cause Migraines

There are a number of dental problems that can cause migraines or make their symptoms worse. For example, tooth decay, impacted wisdom teeth, and cracked teeth can all cause toothaches. When tooth pain is severe enough, it can affect your nerves and cause migraine headaches.

A dental issue is most likely causing your migraines if you experience any of the following symptoms along with your head pain:

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks
  • Brown, black, or white teeth stains
  • Pain when biting down
  • Visibly chipped or broken teeth
  • Red, swollen, tender, and/or bleeding gums

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, puts significant stress on your teeth and jaw, and can result in migraines. Bruxism often results in a jaw disorder called TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) that also causes migraines. If you frequently wake up with headaches and/or tight jaw muscles, you could be grinding your teeth in your sleep. 

Besides causing migraines, bruxism also significantly wears down your teeth—you could crack them or even damage your gums. If you suffer from teeth grinding, your dentist will likely recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to prevent further damage and help relieve your headaches.  

Treating Tooth Pain in Prescott

If you’re unsure what’s causing your tooth pain, or if you suspect that a toothache is the cause of your migraines, Prescott Dentistry can help. We’ll check your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, broken teeth, bruxism, and any other dental issues. Then we’ll discuss the treatment options that will best fit your needs. Call us at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/10/2022). Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels (cropped)