Migraines linked to poor oral health, research shows

Research has found that oral health issues can cause migraines, and that resolving dental problems can get rid of them. 

Research has found that oral health issues can cause migraines, and resolving dental problems can get rid of them. 

Oral health issues can cause and aggravate migraines, research shows. As well as this, dental treatment has been shown to resolve chronic migraines.

This is because headaches and toothaches are both transmitted through the trigeminal nerve, which serves to innervate the face and jaws.

A BMJ case report found that, once migraines become chronic, medicines are less effective. Therefore, the solution is to control dental risk factors and treat oral heal issues.

Dentist Dr Satabdi Saha has said: ‘Oral disease-associated migraine attacks account for a significant proportion of patients visiting neurology clinics worldwide.’

She also states: ‘Severe and chronic migraine attacks are often related to hidden oral diseases, which can be challenging to identify.

‘Dentists are best equipped to diagnose such cases.’

In addition, dentists can be the best professionals to treat migraine problems if the cause is linked to dental issues.

Treatment can include a mouth guard, root canal treatment, fillings, oral surgery and braces.

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How do oral health issues cause headaches?

The American Migraine Association (AMA) has stated that many different oral health issues can aggravate and cause migraines.

For example, loose or missing teeth force the jaw muscles to work harder. This makes it more difficult to swallow, align the teeth and close the mouth. As a result, this could cause migraines brought on by chronic muscular inflammation.

Similarly, bruxism can cause muscle and gum irritation which is also a cause of migraines and headaches. Symptoms of this include headaches in the morning, a tight jaw, tooth pain and cracked or damaged teeth. Malocclusion, which can cause grinding of teeth, can therefore also result in migraines, AMA has said.

In addition, patients with chronic periodontitis are at a higher risk of migraines due to ginvigval tissue destruction and tooth loss. Damaged wisdom teeth, tooth decay, gum disease and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) can also all set off migraines and headaches. The AMA states that 35% of migraine sufferers have at least one TMD symptom.

As a result, regular flossing and brushing, watching what you eat and resolving grinding habits is encouraged to resolve migraine issues.

You can read more on how oral health issues cause migraines here. 

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