When you are experiencing pressure or pain in your head, it can be so agonizing that you just don’t know what to do with yourself. The question is, do you know what is causing it, or what the pain you are feeling actually is? Headaches are our number one pain problem in the United States. According to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Approximately 40 percent of all “healthy” individuals suffer from chronic headaches, with an estimated 80 percent of all headaches occurring from muscle tension. However, did you know that many tension headaches are due to your bite and your teeth?
The reality is that pain and headaches caused by toothaches can affect your daily life until it is treated. In order to understand how a toothache can be cured, it’s first important to know exactly what causes the pain.
What causes a toothache?
A toothache refers to any sort of pain that starts near a person’s teeth, gums or jaw. Toothaches can occur for a variety of reasons, which include cracked teeth, cavities, and exposed roots and nerves. In rare cases, the cause of a toothache could be more serious than you might think. Infections in the ears and sinuses and even heart disease can result in conditions that make your tooth or mouth hurt. However, the most common cause of toothaches in patients today is from a dental cavity.
How are headaches linked to a toothache?
One of the main causes of migraine headaches is from an extended toothache. Our faces contain thousands of nerves and muscles, which transmit senses (such as pain) back and forth between our brain and the nervous system. Almost all headaches and toothaches are detected by one of the largest nerves in the head, the trigeminal nerve. Due to this connection, most toothaches can be direct causes of headaches. Other reactions to toothaches, such as muscle clenching and jaw tightening, can eventually lead to headaches, as well. So, while you may feel like you can handle the pain of a normal toothache, you should still seek treatment before it leads to an even bigger problem.
While temporary pain relief may be the most immediate concern when your tooth hurts, it’s just as important to get to the root of the cause. If it’s cavity or gum-related, you need to see a dentist. Occasionally, your dentist will decide it’s necessary to extract a tooth if it’s significantly decayed or beyond repair.
In order to cure a toothache that’s caused by sinus or nerve infections, the best treatment is to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. Sometimes you’ll want to consider asking your physician for an anti-inflammatory, but often Tylenol or Ibuprofen can give you the relief you need. If you’re feeling intense sinus pressure, make sure to keep your head elevated.