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Can gum infection cause major headaches?
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An_205342 posted:
I take good care of my teeth. I brush and floss 3 times a day. About 6 months ago, I have been experiencing pain so my dentist did 2 root canals in those particular area. But, the pain continues. The pain gives me major headaches where I cannot function. I felt temporary relief when my physician doctor gave me antiobiotics for another problem. Once I was done taking the antibiotics, the pain returned. I shared with my dentist what I noticed and she said my gums look healthy and they don't bleed. Is it possible for gum infection to cause such headaches? I cannot handle the head pain anymore.
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DUKE MEDICINE
Timothy Collins, MD responded:
I really wonder if the problem is something else. It sounds like you have had treatment for infection 2 or 3 times (root canal x 2 and antibiotics).

There are face pain problems like Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Face pain that start off with pain that seems like tooth pain or gum pain. The important part of these pain problems is that the dentist treatments don't make the pain better.

Almost any pain in the face or mouth can be a trigger (or tunr into ) a migraine though. Regular migraine medications should work for the migraine part of the pain, but will not work for the tooth/gum or mouth pain.

Some medications like gabapentin or pregabalin (lyrica) work really well for the "nerve type pain" that patients can have in their mouth.

You might want to ask your doctor for a referral to a headache specialist that will see patients with trigeminal neuralgia or atypical face pain and see if that is what you have.
 
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Emmalus replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
I have a quick question that i think is related to this. I started dental flossing 2 nights ago. It had been, unfortunately, the first time in a long time i had flossed. Everything seeemed to be ok until around 6pm last night. I started to get this annoying headache which I tried to remedy with Excedrin but that didn't help. Through out the night it didn't go away and it got progressively worse.A little background information on me real quick. I have had migraines most of my adult life but it's been at least 7 months since i had one. I usually have triggers that set them off, but not this one. I even took hydocodone to help get rid of it in the middle of the night. Nothing. During the progression of my headache getting worse, the right side of my face, from my head, to my temple, to my eye, my cheeks and the upper inside of my gums on the right side hurt so bad i want a face transplant. Uggg....Do you think Dr. Collins this is related to now an infection I caused in my gums by dental flossing, because it was the first time I flossed in months? Any helpful advice you could give would be great. Thank you so much.
Sincerely,
Suzanne
Texas


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