Can a toothache cause neck pain? While this might be a far-fetched idea, the truth might actually surprise you. If you are not aware yet, one of the unfortunate effects of a gum abscess is neck pain. Why? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
In addition to learning why and how a toothache can cause neck pain, we are also going to share with you some tried-and-tested home remedies that we have been using for years. So, you better keep reading!
Common Dental Problems
Before we can link neck pain and toothache, we should first address the common dental problems that might also lead to neck pain. These problems range from issues with your teeth and gums, as well as even your mouth in general.
Let us take a look at the following:
- Cavities or Decay
A simple cavity or tooth decay problem is the most common cause of a toothache. This can be due to a bacterial infection, which means that the simple cure is a dose of antibiotics. In addition to that, a thorough cleaning or a tooth filling might also be required. For this one, you really do not get neck pain unless the infection has progressed.
- Gum Disease
This is what is commonly known as gingivitis. It is where your gums will experience inflammation because there are bacteria that are stuck in the deep pockets of your gums. This might not be too serious, but when left untreated, it can cause serious pain. The solution is usually deep cleaning and a set dental routine. No, there is no neck pain involved in this.
- Cracked Tooth
This might cause pain because teeth also have nerve endings, and in some way, it might affect how you close your mouth or how you chew. Other than fixing it with fillings or even replacing the tooth with a fake one though, a cracked tooth is not really problematic. As expected, this does not include neck pain as well.
- Impacted isdom Teeth
Having wisdom teeth is normal. However, it can get problematic when it grows out wrong, or worse, if it does not grow out at all because it is impacted. A problematic wisdom tooth can cause facial swelling and might even cause your other teeth to move, which might also inflame your gums due to the sudden change of position. There can be a bit of neck pain involved in this as the pain can sometimes be so excruciating.
- Infection or Abscess
This is the end result of all the previous dental problems when left untreated. In this case, you already have pus somewhere in your cavities. This, my friends, is where you will experience neck pain.
At this point, everything is so swollen, and the bacteria might have even infected some parts of your face that your neck will also feel the pain.
Can a Toothache Cause Neck Pain?
As discussed above, neck pain is usually felt if you have problems with wisdom teeth and infection or an abscess. However, for the benefit of this article, we are just going to concentrate on it being a symptom or effect of an abscess or infection. Let us now find out how a toothache can lead to neck pain.
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
This disorder is associated with having an abscess or infection in your mouth. As we have discussed before, if you have this dental problem, everything will get inflamed. This is where temporomandibular joint disorder comes in.
Basically, this is just an affliction, which means that there is a chronic or acute inflammation at the temporomandibular joint. This specific joint is directly connected to the mandible of your skull. Meaning, your chin, mouth, neck, ears, forehead, and head are included when this joint is affected.
Therefore, a simple inflammation that leads to this disorder will cause pain in the said areas even if the root cause is just your gums or teeth. Some of the symptoms of this disorder are popping or clicking of the jaw, tooth pain, headache, difficulty chewing, swelling, fever, and neck pain.
What Causes It?
This disorder occurs when bacteria get into the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the innermost part of a tooth where there are blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. In turn, the bacteria can enter through a cracked tooth or an inflamed gum.
It is as simple as that. Everything revolves around bacteria that pierced through your oral defenses. Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, you should have good dental hygiene. Do not worry as we will also give you some tips and tricks.
Here are some things you can do so as to prevent bacteria from entering your dental pulp and for you to not have neck pains that are associated with a toothache. For these tips, you do not need the approval of your dentist as they are pretty standard.
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste, and brush at least twice a day.
- Do not forget to floss or use an interdental cleaner to remove bits that are stuck in between your teeth.
- Toothbrushes are meant to be replaced. A good measure is three to four months or when the brushes are already frayed.
- Do not eat too many sugary drinks or food. In general, just eat healthily.
- Visit your dentist at least once every four months.
- Get professional cleanings at least twice a year.
- To add an extra layer of safety against bacteria, use a fluoride mouthwash or antiseptic.
Can a toothache cause neck pain? It can surely do. However, you do not have a lot to worry about if you followed our pieces of advice. No small amount of dental problems is too minute for you to skimp out on your dentist appointment.
Keep in mind that bacteria are just lurking around, and if there is a slight chance for it to slip through the cracks, it will do so. Unfortunately, before you know it, you already have an abscess. Hence, stick with a good dental routine, so you can say goodbye to toothaches and neck pains!