Wisdom Teeth 101: Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Migraines?

11 November 2021

Headache? Could it be caused by Wisdom teeth?

The precise cause of migraine – a moderate to severe throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head – is still unclear.

However, the condition is believed to be the result of temporary abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels. It’s thought that genetics can make some people more susceptible to factors that trigger migraine.

While the development of wisdom teeth may not directly cause migraine, your reaction to wisdom teeth pain can

The Link Between Wisdom Teeth, Migraine and TMD

Wisdom teeth often grow at a skewed angle or stay buried in the gum because there’s not enough room for them to emerge properly.

To relieve the resulting discomfort, you may change the way you eat. Troublesome wisdom teeth can also crowd other teeth, causing them to shift out of position and create an irregular bite.

An abnormal bite puts strain on muscles that otherwise get little use. This added stress on top of wisdom teeth pain can trigger headaches and migraine attacks as well as jaw pain.

Moving your jaw in a different way when you eat can cause the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to become stressed. This can result in TMD – temporomandibular disorder – a common symptom of migraine.

How Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Headaches

Diagnosing migraine can be complicated, involving many tests and specialist consultations. Even then, the underlying cause may not be revealed. There is, though, a school of thought that for some people migraine-type headaches might result from dental issues, specifically wisdom teeth problems.

When we have pain in one area of the body, the natural tendency is to compensate by making another part work harder. This can set up a chain reaction, creating discomfort in apparently unrelated areas.

Pain receptors in the mouth and head are interlinked, with one affecting the other. For instance, the trigeminal nerve linked to migraine runs past the temples and extends down to the jaw area. Therefore, inflammation towards the back of the mouth caused by problem wisdom teeth can affect this nerve and cause headaches.

Other Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Infection

Headache is one sign that one or more wisdom teeth have become infected and need to be extracted. Other symptoms that indicate wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Persistent toothache.
  • Swelling of the gums.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
  • Stiff jaw.
  • Sinus issues.
  • Earache.
  • Problems opening your mouth.
How to Get Help to End Wisdom Teeth Pain

If you’re experiencing migraine-type headaches or any other symptom of wisdom teeth issues, Wisdom Teeth Sydney is here to help you. We specialise in wisdom teeth extraction with an affordable, stress-free procedure and fast recovery.

Even if you have no symptoms now, they may develop later with more complications, which will make wisdom teeth removal more difficult. This is why wisdom teeth removal has become standard practice to safeguard long-term oral health for the 90 percent of us who don’t have room in our mouth for wisdom teeth.