Can wisdom teeth cause headaches?

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause an improper bite, which may lead to jaw pain and headaches.

If you are struggling with frequent headaches, there are a number of possible factors that could be contributing to your discomfort. In some cases, wisdom teeth that are impacted or emerging can cause headaches — read on to find out why this happens and what you can do to resolve the issue…

How do wisdom teeth cause headaches?

Most people notice their wisdom teeth coming through somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. Also known as the third molars, wisdom teeth are located right at the back of the mouth. When the wisdom teeth emerge, they begin by moving through the jawbone before breaking through the gum line. This process can cause some pain and discomfort and may even lead to headaches.


It is fairly common for wisdom teeth to become impacted, an issue that occurs when they do not grow in as they should. Impacted wisdom teeth usually occur when there is not enough room for them in the jaw, in which case they may get stuck beneath the gums, emerge at an angle, or push against the other surrounding teeth. Impacted teeth often cause bite-related problems, which can then lead to pain and headaches.


How can you resolve the issue?

If your wisdom teeth are causing you headaches, it is likely that you will benefit from an extraction. Besides headaches, impacted wisdom teeth can also cause pain in the mouth, which may radiate to the ear or throat; facial swelling; oral infection; and swelling of the gum line at the back of the mouth.


If your dentist or oral surgeon recommends having your wisdom teeth removed, you can expect the whole procedure to take between 30 and 60 minutes. It can be done under local anaesthetic, a general anaesthetic, or IV sedation. During the procedure, your oral surgeon will remove each tooth in one piece, or it will be sectioned before removal to make the process easier. In some cases, a bone will also need to be removed to aid the extraction process.


Will oral surgery alleviate headaches?

If impacted wisdom teeth are causing your headaches, having these teeth extracted can help alleviate your problem by improving your bite and relieving some pressure from your jaw. It is important to understand, however, that headaches can be caused by a number of factors. For this reason, it is worth consulting with your dentist or oral surgeon, as they will be able to let you know what course of action is most suitable for you.


If you do go ahead with oral surgery, you may experience some uncomfortable but temporary side effects, including jaw stiffness that can cause headaches. Let your surgeon know if you are struggling, and they will recommend some over-the-counter medication to help ease your pain. You may also find it helpful to apply a cold compress to your cheeks to minimise inflammation and pain.


How can we help?

At OMFS, we offer a number of oral surgeries designed to improve our patients’ oral health, including wisdom teeth surgery. If you are struggling with some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth, we encourage you to come in and see us. One of our specialists will perform a thorough oral examination and determine whether an extraction is appropriate for you.

If you would like to find out more about wisdom teeth surgery and what the procedure and recovery process involves, please have a look here.

Our team of specialists also offers a comprehensive range of oral and maxillofacial procedures — if you would like to find out more about our services, please have a look here.

To arrange an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call at (03) 9347 3788. Our team is highly experienced and will help to address your concern as effectively and efficiently as possible.