Recent studies, published by BMJ, link migraines to poor oral health. This isn’t surprising to us as the nerves in the teeth and head are connected, and pain in one area can radiate to the other.
Migraines are often associated with a variety of triggers, including stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, and environmental factors. However, one factor less often associated with migraines is poor oral health and now there is some evidence to suggest that dental problems may be contributing to their development.
How can Poor Oral Health cause Migraines?
One potential link between migraines and poor oral health is bruxism, which is the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism can cause jaw pain and muscle tension, which can trigger headaches or migraines.
Additionally, gum disease and other oral infections can cause inflammation in the mouth, which may spread to other parts of the body and contribute to the development of migraines.
Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of issues, including cavities, abscesses, or tooth fractures. When a tooth is damaged or infected, it can cause inflammation and irritation in the surrounding tissues, including the nerves. This can lead to a dull, persistent ache that can spread to the head and cause headaches.
In addition, when you have a toothache, you may clench your jaw or grind your teeth in response to the pain. This can cause muscle tension and strain in the head and neck, which can also lead to headaches.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
Furthermore, some research suggests that people with a history of migraines may have a higher risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a condition that affects the joints and muscles that control jaw movement. TMJ can cause jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms that may be similar to those experienced during a migraine.
Unsure if your Oral Health is Contributing to your Migraines?
As we have said, poor oral health can be the cause of migraines, or it may contribute to their development in some cases. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and seek treatment for any dental problems to help reduce the risk of developing migraines and other health issues.
If you are experiencing frequent migraines, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. It is worthwhile to include your dentist at this time to eliminate any potential dental issues causing your migraines.
What can I do to Stop Migraines Caused by Poor Oral Health?
If you suspect that your migraines are caused by poor oral health, there are several things you can do to help alleviate them:
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove any food particles and bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection in your mouth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental check-ups can help detect any dental issues that could be contributing to your migraines. Your dentist can also recommend a treatment plan to improve your oral health.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods and drinks can trigger migraines, such as caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and foods containing MSG. Try to avoid these trigger foods to see if it helps with your migraines.
Dehydration can also trigger migraines, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Stress can also contribute to migraines, so practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
If your migraines persist despite these measures, it’s important to consult with your doctor or dentist to determine the underlying cause and explore additional treatment options.
If you have any questions in relation to your oral health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.