Dental Problems Can Contribute To Pain In Areas Other Than Your Teeth

Posted on: 27 July 2016

Dental problems don't just cause pain in your teeth and gums. Problems with your teeth can cause head, jaw, ear, neck, and even shoulder pain. But once your doctor or dentist makes a diagnosis, he or she can recommend the appropriate oral treatment to help ease your discomfort.

Malocclusion As a Cause of Headache Pain

Since muscle tension is the cause of many headaches, if you have a tendency to clench your jaw muscles, that may be the reason for the pain behind your eyes. Headaches related to bite problems also can cause earaches and neck, shoulder, or upper back pain.

When your teeth aren't properly aligned, you can wake to a headache and sore jaw in the morning. That's because malocclusion problems may cause you to clench and grind your teeth when you're asleep. Teeth clenching can occur during the day too – especially when you're stressed.

Grinding and clenching your teeth puts pressure on the muscles and joints in your face and head, which then can lead to a headache or pain in your jaw and teeth. But correcting your bite can relieve the related headache and jaw pain. Therefore, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about braces to move your teeth into the proper position.

Temporomandibular Disorders As a Cause of Pain in the Head and Neck

Problems with your jaw, jaw joint, or the muscles surrounding the jaw often are attributed to temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Jaw joint dysfunction can cause your face and jaw to hurt. Additional symptoms of TMD include a clicking or popping noise when you open or close your mouth, face swelling, and pain around your ear or in your neck and shoulders. You may have trouble chewing, and your jaw can lock, making it hard to open and close your mouth.

Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications often are enough to relieve the pain. But when they aren't, your dentist or doctor may prescribe something stronger. Muscle relaxant drugs and antidepressants can provide pain relief as well. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections into the joint or joint surgery may be required if joint pain fails to resolve. If you don't want to take medicine, physical therapy or wearing an oral splint or mouth guard may help ease the pain.

Abscessed Tooth As a Cause of Spreading Orofacial Pain

Not only does a dental abscess cause pain in the face and mouth, but bacteria from a cavity can also spread under the tongue, into facial bones, and to the throat and soft tissues of the neck. In addition to pain and swelling, symptoms may include fever, chills, pus drainage, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the infection becomes so severe that oral swelling can block the airway, making it hard to breathe.

Your dentist can treat an abscess by draining the pus to stop the infection and treating the affected tooth. Making an incision in the swollen gum tissue, a root canal, or a tooth extraction are the methods by which your dentist may drain the abscess. He or she also will prescribe antibiotics to help stop the infection from spreading or returning.

For more information on these and other dental issues, contact a dentist like Gregg Mond DMD.


About Marcel and the Dentist

Hi, my name is Marcel. Welcome to my site! I started it to help others learn about children's dentistry. Most of us don't remember dentist trips from our early childhood. Maybe we didn't even really care about our teeth until we started losing baby teeth. In my case, I became interested in children's dentistry as a young father. When my kids were young, I was a student, and our insurance did not cover visits to the dentist. Although my wife and I tried to teach our kids good hygiene on our own, it was difficult. When we we finally able to take them to the dentist, my little girls were scared and didn't know what was going on. Luckily, they appreciate the dentist now that they are older, but their first experiences helped teach me more about the importance of children's dentistry. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences!