Can toothache cause headache? Understand how dental issues can lead to headaches and explore potential causes, symptoms, and remedies.

Can Toothache Cause Headache? Understanding the Connection

Toothache and headache are two common types of discomfort that most people experience at some point in their lives. Even though these conditions are usually treated alone, they are connected surprisingly.

This article will help you answer the question “Can toothache cause headache?”. We will explore what causes them, and how to treat them.

Can Toothache Cause Headache?

The short answer is yes, toothaches can cause headaches. The nerves in your head are interconnected, which means that pain signals from one area can travel to another.

When a tooth becomes infected or inflamed, the pain may radiate to other parts of your head, leading to a headache. This is especially true when the toothache is severe or chronic.

Another possible way that toothaches can cause headaches is through referred pain. Referred pain occurs when the nerves in one part of the body send pain signals to another area.

Toothache Causes

The main cause of toothache is tooth decay, which is caused. Other causes of toothache include:

  • gum disease
  • cracked
  • damaged teeth
  • teeth grinding

In some cases, toothache can also be a symptom of a more serious issue such as an abscess, impacted wisdom tooth, or sinus infection.

Treatment Options

If you’re experiencing headaches along with toothaches, it’s essential to address both issues simultaneously for effective headache treatment. Treatment options for such headaches usually involve addressing the underlying tooth issue. Treatments can include the following:

Over-The-Counter Painkillers

These medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, work by reducing inflammation and providing temporary relief from the pain. They can be easily obtained at any pharmacy without a prescription, making them a convenient choice for managing headaches caused by toothache. However, it is important to note that over-the-counter painkillers only provide temporary relief and do not address the root cause of the toothache.

A Visit to the Dentist

The dentist will first conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of the toothache and devise an appropriate treatment plan. The options for treating a headache caused by a toothache may include:

  • prescription of pain medications
  • dental filling or crown to repair a decayed tooth
  • root canal procedure to remove an infected pulp

In some cases, extraction of the affected tooth may be recommended as a last resort.


Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that are responsible for the infection, providing relief, and allowing the tooth to heal. However, it is important to note that antibiotics should only be used in specific cases of toothache, as they can have side effects and contribute to antibiotic resistance if used unnecessarily.

Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress, such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas, to the affected area can reduce inflammation and numb the pain. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels, reducing the blood flow to the area and decreasing the intensity of the headache. Wrap the cold compress in a cloth to prevent direct contact with the skin and only use it for 15-20 minutes at a time to avoid damaging the tissues.

Understanding the Connection of Toothache and Headache

Toothache and headache may seem like two unrelated conditions, but the question is “Can toothache cause headache?”. The answer is, that there is a clear connection between them. If you’re experiencing both, it’s crucial to address the underlying issue and seek treatment from your dentist.

Don’t hesitate to seek help from your dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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