Wisdom teeth come once in a lifetime for everyone. But the experience is not the same for each and every one of us.
Typically, wisdom teeth appear between the ages 17 and 21. However, it differs from person to person.
As wisdom teeth grow, a lot of people experience discomfort or pain. Some even experience swelling in their gums and temporomandibular joint (or TMJ). A lot of people also believe that their wisdom teeth cause them migraines. Can this be true? Let’s find out below.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Migraines?
The straightforward answer is no. Wisdom teeth don’t directly cause you to get a migraine. However, the way you react to the pain may be a contributing factor.
This is because when we experience pain or any discomfort in our body, especially in our teeth, our body’s natural response is to compensate. The brain and the body compensates by making a different area of our body work harder.
When this happens, it causes a chain reaction that creates even more pain in different areas of the body. Areas that can be totally unrelated to the body part that’s already in pain.
In this case, when your wisdom teeth hurt, your body goes into overdrive to compensate. And, most commonly, you will feel this in the neck, face, mouth or the head.
Why? Because the pain receptors in our mouth, face, head and neck are all linked together. They have an effect on one another.
For example, the trigeminal nerve runs past the temples. And it extends down to the jaw area. This is the nerve that’s commonly associated with migraines and headaches.
So whenever there’s an inflammation towards the back of the mouth, this can affect the trigeminal nerve. And when this nerve gets irritated, it can cause headaches.
Don’t Put Off Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out!
These headaches can also be caused by stress and the pain you experience. If you have an existing migraine, wisdom teeth can worsen that pain from migraines.
Because of this, it’s natural to seek relief as soon as possible. And to avoid situations that may make the headache worse.
However, don’t put off getting your wisdom teeth out. You want to get them out sooner rather than later.
Dentists recommend this because wisdom teeth are very difficult to maintain and clean. If left in, over time, your wisdom teeth can lead bacteria buildup, cavities and even tooth decay. These conditions will cause a lot more health issues than just headaches.
Wisdom teeth can also cause physical pain and discomfort. You may experience facial pain, difficulty biting or chewing, ringing pain in your ears, and swollen gums. Some even experience pain in their back, shoulders and their jaw muscles due to wisdom teeth.
With this pain and discomfort, you cannot just hope for the painkillers to work. The only solution to wisdom teeth is getting them out.
This is why it’s much better to just have them removed. If you feel a wisdom tooth emerging, it is best to consult with your dentist right away.
So even though they won’t cause a migraine, they can cause plenty of other pain and problems in the body.
Guide to Migraines
This article is part of our Guide to Migraine Treatments and Causes.
Check out the next topic in this series: Does Dry Needling Help Migraines?