Can A Migraine And Tooth Pain Be Related?

April 10, 2024 - By Bruce Michaelson
Can A Migraine And Tooth Pain Be Related?

Although many use the words headache and migraine interchangeably, it is not exactly the same. Headaches are often short-lived, whereas migraines can be excruciating and debilitating and linger on for long periods of time. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, approximately one billion people across the globe suffer from migraine.

While many factors can trigger this condition, they can actually have something to do with your tooth pain. Yes, it’s true that tooth pains can sometimes cause migraines. According to dental experts, here are some tooth conditions that strongly correlate with migraine.

Can Tooth Pain Cause Headaches?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

This is a condition that occurs when the modified ball and socket joint connecting your upper and lower jaw doesn’t function correctly. Our joint’s main purpose is to allow the lower jaw to move in three directions: forward, backward, and side-to-side.

Those with TMJ can experience a problem engaging in these movements and may feel as though the jaw clicks and pops or as if it becomes momentarily stuck.

Some common TMJ symptoms include clicking or popping sounds, tender jaw muscles, earache, toothache and headache, followed by migraines.

Your dentist will be able to diagnose this condition and treat you accordingly. Reducing pain associated with TMJ to a great extent can help you alleviate the accompanying migraine you have.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Also known as Bruxism, this is the act of grinding or clenching the teeth. Although many experience teeth grinding or clenching while asleep, some may be subject to this habit throughout the day.

This condition can be caused by stress, misaligned teeth, and any other nerve or muscle disease in the face.

One of the most common symptoms of bruxism includes migraines, morning headaches, grinding sounds at night, tight jaw muscles, and cracked or damaged teeth, causing a toothache.

In your routine visit, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to diagnose this condition and recommend proper treatment.

It is usually done by fixing your alignment or fitting you for an anti-grinding mouthguard.

Stress-related bruxism can be managed with professional counselling, relaxation techniques, or prescription medication.

For more in-depth consultations about dental pain and headache/migraine, visit us at American Dental Clinic in Dubai.


If you develop frequent toothache for undiagnosed reasons, then the chances of developing a migraine are very high.

On the flip side, sometimes migraines can also cause toothache or any other dental pain.

This is because the nerve injury is related to both conditions.

If you suspect the migraine is rooted in a cavity or gum issue, then a periodontist can help.

But if they find no tooth decay or gum disease, they will most likely refer you to a neurologist to determine if you have a migraine.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay or Cavities are another dental reason that can result in a headache or migraine.

It usually starts as a small hole in your teeth and if left untreated it can quickly open up into much larger holes.

Tooth decay can cause headaches or migraine making the patient think that they are suffering from headache but it could be a tooth problem.

Can Toothache Cause Ear Pain?

Yes, tooth pain cause ear pain as your teeth, jaw and gums are all interconnected to your ears via a network of passways, canals and tubes.

If you are experiencing a sudden and acute pain in your ear you should visit your dentist first as they can identify the root cause behind it.

This is why maintaining a proper and hygienic oral health is important for a good quality of life.

Can Tooth Pain Cause Migraine Too?

Your teeth is connected to your brain via a nerve called – trigeminal nerve, which is the largest nerve in the head. This nerve helps provide sensation to your teeth and gums. Whenever you have a toothache this nerver gets irritated and this triggers migraine.

How to Ease Symptoms of Migraine/Headache Caused Due to Tooth Ache?

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help with the first signs of a migraine attack.

  • Try lying or sleeping in a darkened room or eating something

  • If you have been given any prescription medications for migraine, take them

  • Consider receiving acupuncture, which is commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat pain

  • Give a try at transcranial magnetic stimulation- but they should be administered by healthcare professionals

  • Adding some salt to a glass of warm water and swirling it in your mouth and spitting it our can temporarily give relief from migraines.
  • You can apply an ice pack to help ease the pain.

In conclusion, the intricate relationship between severe headaches from toothaches and migraines underscores the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare. It becomes pivotal in unravelling the complex interplay between dental issues and migraines if seeking specialized TMJ treatment in Dubai or consulting a reputable dental clinic. The bidirectional nature of headaches due to toothache necessitates a collaborative effort between dental and neurological specialists to ensure accurate diagnosis and effective management. By addressing underlying dental conditions such as TMJ, bruxism, or toothaches, individuals can find relief from immediate discomfort and potentially alleviate the intensity and frequency of migraines. It is imperative to prioritize comprehensive care that considers dental and neurological aspects, enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.

FAQs: Can Tooth Pain Cause Headaches

Why do migraines make your teeth hurt?

Migraines can cause teeth to hurt due to the interconnected nature of dental and migraine pain. Conditions like bruxism (teeth grinding) often accompany migraines, leading to symptoms such as tight jaw muscles, morning headaches, and tooth discomfort. Additionally, migraine and tooth pain can share a common neurological pathway, causing overlapping sensations. If you’re experiencing tooth pain during migraines, it’s essential to consult with a dentist to rule out any dental issues contributing to the pain and to explore suitable migraine management strategies. 

Do migraines cause tooth pain?

Yes, migraines can cause tooth pain. The relationship between migraine and tooth pain is complex and often bidirectional. While tooth pain may be a symptom of an underlying dental issue triggering migraines, migraines themselves can also induce toothache-like sensations due to shared nerve pathways. If you suspect your migraine and tooth pain are linked, seeking consultation from a dentist and a neurologist is advisable for a comprehensive evaluation and effective management.

How do I know if my headache is from a tooth?

Determining if your dental pain and headache are related to a toothache involves considering associated symptoms. If you’re experiencing tender jaw muscles, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, or morning headaches, it could indicate conditions like TMJ or bruxism. Additionally, frequent unexplained toothaches might suggest a connection with migraines. Seeking the expertise of a dentist, especially one familiar with TMJ treatment, can help diagnose dental-related headaches and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Consider visiting the best dental clinic in Abu Dhabi, which addresses dental and migraine-related concerns.

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