Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of molars to emerge in a person’s mouth. They generally commence erupting during late adolescence or early adulthood. While the eruption of wisdom teeth is a common occurrence, it can also be accompanied by a range of discomforts, including headaches.
This blog will contain information on whether wisdom teeth can indeed cause headaches and what an individual can do if they experience such a problem.
Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Before we delve into the connection between wisdom teeth and headaches, it’s essential to understand the basics of these third molars. Wisdom teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, but not everyone develops them. In some cases, people may have all four wisdom teeth, while others may have fewer or none at all.
The Potential Impact of Wisdom Teeth on Headaches
The eruption of wisdom teeth can be associated with various discomforts and complications. While not everyone with wisdom teeth will experience headaches, they can contribute to headaches in some individuals. Here are some reasons why wisdom teeth might be linked to headaches:
- Dental Crowding:
Wisdom teeth can sometimes cause crowding in the mouth. When there isn’t enough space for these additional molars to grow in properly, they can push against adjacent teeth, leading to misalignment. Dental misalignment can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, which are known to cause headaches.
- Inflammation and Infection:
Wisdom teeth can be prone to inflammation and infection, a condition known as pericoronitis. This infection can cause localized swelling and discomfort in the mouth and jaw area, potentially leading to headaches.
Wisdom teeth are more likely to become impacted, meaning they don’t fully emerge from the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can press against nearby nerves, leading to referred pain that might be felt as headaches.
- Teeth Grinding:
The discomfort associated with wisdom teeth can sometimes lead to teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism can result in jaw pain and, in turn, headaches.
What to Do if Wisdom Teeth Are Causing Headaches
If you suspect that your wisdom teeth are causing headaches, it’s important to consult with a dentist or oral surgeon for a thorough evaluation. They can help determine whether your wisdom teeth are the root cause of your headaches and recommend an appropriate course of action. This may involve:
In some cases, the dentist may choose to monitor the situation if your wisdom teeth are not causing severe issues. Periodic visits to dentists can ensure detection of problems in early stages.
If your wisdom teeth are causing significant discomfort or complications, your dentist may recommend extraction. Wisdom tooth extraction is a common dental procedure, and it can help alleviate headaches and other related problems.
- Pain Management:
In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses can help manage headache symptoms associated with wisdom teeth discomfort.
While not everyone will experience headaches due to their wisdom teeth, it is indeed possible for these third molars to contribute to head pain. If you are dealing with persistent headaches and suspect that your wisdom teeth may be the cause, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional.
They can assess your situation and guide the best course of action to address the issue and relieve your discomfort. Always keep in mind that early intervention can prevent more severe complications down the road, so it’s essential to seek professional assistance if you have troubles with your wisdom teeth.