Can gum disease cause headaches? Unveiling the Connection
Can gum disease cause headaches? Unveiling the Connection | Kokua Smiles

Can gum disease cause headaches? Unveiling the Connection

June 28, 2024

What is more annoying than a stubbed toe that lasts long? 

Headaches, for sure. (Painful and sudden)

Headaches for no reason are the worst. While there are numerous causes for headaches, one lesser-known culprit could be lurking right inside our mouths: gum disease. In this article, we’ll answer the question- can gum disease causes headaches, and what you can do to alleviate the pain?

Does Gum Disease Cause Headaches?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, results from bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. This inflammation can extend beyond the gums and affect other areas, including your head, leading to frequent headaches. 

The short answer is yes, gum disease can potentially contribute to headaches. Here's a breakdown as to how it can cause headaches:

  • Inflammation: Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria at the gum line. This triggers an inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation, not just in the gums, but throughout the body, has been linked to headaches, including tension headaches and migraines.
  • Jaw Pain: Inflammation and infection in the gums can affect the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint, TMJ). This can lead to pain and tightness in the jaw muscles, which can radiate to the head and cause headaches.
  • Teeth Grinding: Sometimes, discomfort caused by gum disease can lead to unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. This puts strain on the jaw muscles and can contribute to headaches, especially tension headaches.

Can Gum Disease Cause Different Types of Headaches?

While the exact link between gum disease and specific headache types needs further research, here's what we know:

  • Tension Headaches: These are the most common headaches and can be triggered by various factors, including stress and muscle tension. As mentioned above, gum disease-related inflammation and jaw pain can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Migraines: While less common, some studies suggest a possible link between gum disease and migraines. The inflammatory response in the body may play a role in triggering migraines in some individuals.
  • Sinus Headaches: Gum disease itself is unlikely to directly cause sinus headaches. However, sometimes, an upper gum infection can spread to the sinuses, leading to a combination of headache, facial pain, and congestion.

Can Gum Disease Cause High Blood Pressure?

Studies suggest a possible link between gum disease and high blood pressure. Chronic inflammation throughout the body, including that caused by gum disease, may contribute to an increased risk of high blood pressure. Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being.

How to tell if headache is from tooth?

If you're experiencing frequent headaches, it's important to consider your oral health. Here's a quick self-check for gum health:

  • Look: Are your gums red, puffy, or swollen?
  • Touch: Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss?
  • Feel: Are your gums receding, exposing more tooth root surface?

If you notice any of these signs, schedule a dental appointment with your dental professional. Schedule your appointment with us- Kokua Smiles today! Our friendly and experienced team is dedicated to providing exceptional dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Early detection and treatment of gum disease can prevent complications and potentially alleviate headaches related to the condition. Visit our website to schedule an appointment.

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