Referred Pain: Why A Toothe Ache Could Be Something Else

Pain is the body’s alarm system, alerting us to the fact that something is amiss. And, depending on where
the pain is felt and how intense it is, it might provide important information about the condition.
It’s not always obvious and straightforward, though—pain may arise from a variety of sources. Toothaches
are an excellent example of this: while they most often indicate a tooth or gum problem, they might also
be a sign of something else, somewhere else.

Referred pain occurs when you experience discomfort in one area, such as your mouth. Still, the natural
source of the problem is another, such as an infected and clogged sinus. The chances of a good treatment
outcome are higher if we can pinpoint the actual source and location of the pain.

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To be sure, you’ll need to get a comprehensive dental exam. Suppose your dentist can’t detect anything
wrong with your mouth. In that case, they may send you to a physician to rule out other possibilities.
Identifying the source of the pain can aid in determining which treatment strategy would help alleviate it.

Thus, the most efficient approach to grasp what a pain feeling is attempting to tell us is to find the source.
Here are a few critical causes of referred tooth pain:

Sinus condition:

Sinusitis might be the root cause of your toothache if your upper teeth hurt and your nasal passages
are clogged or sensitive. Because the roots of the upper teeth are close to the sinuses, you may have
discomfort in your upper teeth if your sinuses become inflamed due to an infection.

Nerve Disorders:

Tooth pain can also be caused by headaches. Neurovascular headaches, often known as migraines or
cluster headaches, affect the blood vessels in the brain. They’re known as neurovascular toothaches
when they affect the teeth. A toothache can sometimes be a symptom of a heart or lung issue. Nerves in
the teeth, face, and skull can be affected by neurological disorders such as Thus, trigeminal neuralgia. A
toothache can be caused by inflammation of these nerves.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD):

A temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), a condition with the pair of joints that connect the lower
jaw to the upper jaw and skull, is one of the most common non-dental causes of tooth or face discomfort.
Pain in or around the temporomandibular joints can radiate to other parts of the body, often resembling a
toothache. Working on the problematic tooth will not alleviate the discomfort in this case.

Ear Infection:

It may come as a surprise, but tooth-related discomfort is a prevalent cause of earaches rather than an ear
infection. Because the ear and jaw are so close together and their nerves are intertwined, it can be difficult
to tell whether you have a toothache or an earache.

Jaw Clenching:

Some people clench or grind their teeth regularly, whether during the day or when sleeping. This might
result in jaw discomfort, headaches, or tooth soreness. For example, sleep bruxism is a disorder that
causes teeth to be worn down, chipped, fractured, or loosened while sleeping. People who clench their
teeth at night are frequently prescribed a night guard, which is meant to protect their teeth.

What Can You Do?

When other pain disorders appear to be the same as dental problems, they might get unnecessary
treatments. Hence, if a dental cause for tooth pain can’t be determined, you should be evaluated by a
professional with experience in atypical pain.

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