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Headache is one of the most common disorders in today’s age. Every other person is affected by it. Patients often complain of headaches along with rotten teeth, and they show improvement after the treatment of the rotten teeth. So now the question arises, Is there any link between rotten teeth & Headaches? and can rotten teeth cause Headaches?

Yes! Rotten/Decayed teeth can lead to a headache but not every time. There are certain circumstances where Headaches can aggravate due to rotten teeth.

The link between Rotten teeth & Headache

Rotten teeth are not a primary factor for Headaches, but in some cases, they can lead to them. NCBI published a very important case study regarding it where a patient had chronic Headaches and was on many medications. However, still, Neurologist couldn’t cure the Headache, and at last, the Neurologist called a Dentist. The Dentist found the issue to be poor oral hygiene and multiple rotten teeth with abscesses.

Headache has a vast etiopathology, one of which is decayed/rotten teeth. How? Let’s learn about it. 

Reasons for Dental Headache

Dental Headache is a term used for Headaches due to dental issues. The Trigeminal nerve mediates the tooth’s nerve supply and a rotten tooth can irritate the trigeminal nerve leading to Headaches or migraine.

Since, Headaches and toothache are transmitted by the same trigeminal nerve. There are instances where a rotten tooth can give rise to a headache.

Apart from this, Patients usually don’t eat by the side where a rotten tooth is present, disturbing the balance between forces of mastication, leading to wear and tear of muscle at one side. It leads to pain in the jaw which is wrongly thought of as a headache.

A long-standing rotten tooth leads to pus accumulation below it inside the jaw, called an abscess. This abscess is also responsible for irritating the trigeminal nerve causing headaches.

How to distinguish between dental Headache and Headache due to other factors

A normal person should never try to diagnose the cause of any disease as many factors can lead to that disease. So, What should one do in case of a headache? Visit a doctor! Yes, you should visit a doctor if there is a headache for more than 2-3 days in a row.

When to see a doctor?

If you have a rotten tooth and Headache, you should visit a neurologist first, get a checkup, and tell them the whole case history. A patient should also tell the doctor about the rotten tooth and visit a dentist. 

If a headache persists for more than 2-3 days, then there can be a major underlying factor causing it. Self-diagnosis is a risky thing, and people should avoid it.


Headaches can be very problematic and irritating. Ignoring it can lead to more problems in the future. Rotten teeth don’t necessarily lead to Headache, but it is also a factor. So, Patients should regularly visit their Dentist every six months, with a full body health checkup every three years for patients under 50 years with no ailments. Patients with disease or above 50 years of age should get a full body health checkup every year without any miss.