Some people suffer from headache or chronic back pain. Others are affected by these annoyances only occasionally, depending on the triggering circumstances. The causes of diffuse pain in the head (migraine or headache) or in the back are several. Not everyone knows that teeth problems can cause head or back pain.
The jaw opening and closing mechanism must be in alignment to ensure correct phonation and full masticatory function. In the presence of a malocclusion, both of these functions can be compromised depending on the severity and this can cause pain over the entire head. Realigning the teeth by means of a bracketless fixed lingual orthodontic technique can solve both the masticatory and phonatory dysfunctions. It can also eliminate the causes of the headache, restoring your well being. Furthermore, there is the aesthetic advantage of having the teeth aligned, especially for those affected by tooth-related anxiety and embarrassment.
Caries and headache
Can cavities cause headaches? Many patients ask us this question and the answer is absolutely yes. The teeth are living structures, full of nerve endings. Decayed teeth can cause persistent pain at the tooth level, but such pain can be easily irradiated across the face through the trigeminal nerve that provides sensory stimuli to the entire skull.
The pain can easily reach ears and eyes and may also affect the throat. It can be continuous, but it is stronger when you grind your teeth.
To mitigate the pain before going to the dentist, you can take non-steroidal analgesic or anti-inflammatory medicines. Remember, these drugs should be ingested preferably with food and maybe with a gastroprotection especially in cases of stomach issues. These medications, however, only relieve the symptoms but do not solve the problem. The problem can only be dealt with by filling and/or root canal treatment.
Can back pain depend on your teeth?
Adopting an incorrect position may result in back pain and discomfort. Wrong postures – both when standing and sitting – overstrain the muscles of the back and could provoke chronic pain. Some people suffer from backache for years without knowing that the reason is often linked to a malocclusion. A malocclusion, that is often due to the conformation of the mandible itself, can result in a change of position of the whole skull, causing a postural decompensation. In these cases the orthopedic or postural consultant will suggest an orthodontic treatment aimed at the realignment of the dental arches. This will reduce the overstrain of the musculature of the neck and back.
Headaches and wisdom tooth
Fortunately, when wisdom tooth is not impacted and do not have particular problems the pain usually lasts only a few days. The pain may involve your head, because, as mentioned above, the trigeminal nerve distributes pain across the face and more generically throughout the skull. If there are problems of misalignment or caries, it is always preferable to extract the wisdom tooth. Also, as we have already seen, they are not important for chewing and are hard to reach with a toothbrush. In several cases wisdom tooth extraction can avoid some types of caries from being able to attack the neighbour teeth.
In any case we always suggest to schedule a visit to the dentist in case of toothache or when you believe that a headache or a backache is caused by caries, malocclusion or wisdom tooth.