Jaw issues can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches. Your symptoms might be more challenging to spot, though. For example, you may have an abscess or an infection in your jaw.
Other symptoms to look out for in jaw issues that cause headaches include:
- Constant throbbing pain
- Difficulty eating
- Headaches that won’t go away
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck or underarm area
Let’s explore some signs and others that headaches may be due to jaw issues.
1. Tight Muscles in the Jaw and Mouth Area
If you feel pain in your jaw, it is easy to assume that the pain is coming from either your teeth or your gums. If you start experiencing headaches, it could be because of jaw issues. The skin around your mouth and jaw may look swollen. Sometimes, your teeth and gums will also be inflamed and bleeding. You might also feel sore after chewing and experience neck pain.
Monitor how your muscles feel. Keeping track of your symptoms can help you discover whether this may be causing headaches.
2. Clenching or Teeth Grinding
It is common to experience morning headaches. This may be because you may have had a stressful day the day before or are dehydrated. But, your jaw can cause headaches as well. Morning headaches can occur when you’ve clenched or ground your teeth the whole night. You may wake up with grinding and clenching aftereffects. If this is the case, jaw issues are likely to blame.
Teeth grinding causes headaches by stimulating your jaw, teeth, and nerves. It also makes you feel tense, which can cause headaches. You can avoid or minimize the grinding of your teeth. There are many ways to do this, such as being more aware of when you’re doing it. Wearing a mouthguard at night may also help to stop your teeth from grinding.
Not grinding your teeth prevents chronic headaches. So, if you find that you frequently grind your teeth, consult with your dentist. They will have suggestions on how to correct it, which will eliminate the headaches.
3. Sore Back and Neck
There are other signs you may have jaw issues that cause headaches. For example, you may experience pain that radiates through your upper back and neck. You may have been experiencing these symptoms for years. It could be due to an abscess or infection if they’re getting worse. It could also be a symptom if you experience dizziness when looking down. Another sign is if you have difficulty chewing food.
Pay close attention to your symptoms and see if they correlate to when you experience headaches. Reporting your findings to a dentist or physician can help you resolve the health issues.
4. Jaw and Facial Pain
You might also experience jaw and facial pain when you wake up. There are other signs to look for if jaw and facial pain are causing headaches. For example, you may experience a burning sensation in your jaw, face, or upper teeth. You may have been sleeping on your side and feel irritation or tenderness in that area. If that’s the case, your pain could be unrelated to jaw issues.
However, say you keep waking up with sharp or throbbing pain. The pain lasts for several hours after waking up from sleep. Then, your untreated jaw issues may be causing headaches. Having swollen glands are another sign of jaws-related infectious problems.
Other Causes of Headaches Besides Jaw Issues
While jaw issues are a common cause of headaches, there are other potential causes for your head pain.
Changes in Diet or Routine
For example, you might not have experienced jaw-related health problems before. But you could have headaches because of changes in your diet or routine. A lack of sleep could be the culprit. Or, you’ve been staying up too late and your sleep schedule is inconsistent.
Chronic Health Conditions
It’s also possible that your headaches are due to chronic conditions. Examples of constraints are hypertension and fibromyalgia.
Brain Tumor or Stroke
You may also be dealing with something more serious, like a brain tumor or stroke. If you find that symptoms don’t go away, don’t ignore them. It’s best to get testing done to rule out any major health conditions.
Mental Health Conditions
Also, stress, anxiety, depression, and caffeine can trigger headaches. If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, you must find ways to reduce those feelings. Otherwise, mental health issues can lead to various health issues. Most importantly, address your headache issues as soon as possible. If you figure out the cause earlier, they’re less likely to become chronic.
Jaw issues are a common cause of headaches and can affect anyone. Talk to your doctor if you experience chronic headaches that don’t ease after a week. The above signs may help you know whether your headaches are related to jaw issues. But you should always consult your physician if unsure.
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