Head Pain: Understanding The Cause

When pain happens in the face, neck, and head areas, it can be difficult to figure out the cause. Your head contains numerous blood vessels, sinus cavities, ligaments, organs, and more – any of which could create pain. Many people feel pain in the mouth area and automatically assume they have a cavity. However, they might be mistaken. Read on to find out what might be causing our head, face, and jaw pain rather than a dental problem. 

Sinus Issues

Most people associate sinus issues with areas around the nose and cheeks. However, your sinus cavities are surprisingly diverse in their locations. 

They may affect your head almost anywhere — including behind your ears and in your neck, as well as in front of your ears and in your gums. Your sinus cavity can dip down extremely close to your upper gums and that can lead some to believe they have a dental problem. See your dentist and rule out any gum disorders or cavities and then speak to a sinus specialist. You may have a chronic sinus infection causing problems throughout your head area. 

Nerve Pain

The trigeminal nerve is not well-known, but it can become irritated from time to time. A malady known as trigeminal neuralgia can cause you to experience pain in your facial and dental areas. This nerve is located above your ear but it controls pain sensations all around and inside your mouth. 


Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, can catch some people off-guard. Bruxism can cause people to experience pain in their mouth areas and prompt them to see their dentist. Even if the person is unaware that they are grinding their teeth, usually at night, the dentist knows the signs of bruxism when they see them. Teeth can become damaged quickly when they are subject to constant back-and-forth motions. It can also cause daytime pain. Your dentist may suggest a mouthguard worn at night to protect your teeth and reduce daytime pain. 

Decay in a Tooth

Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that they do have dental issues when they experience facial pain. Decayed teeth can produce pain in ways that you might not expect. The pain may be coming from your cheeks or your jaw areas, for instance, leading you to believe that you have a sinus or other problem.  Your decayed tooth does not always send the pain message to the right tooth. 

Let your dentist rule about a dental disorder. Most dental problems are more easily treated than nerve and sinus issues. Discover the root cause of your facial pain by speaking to a family dental professional in your area first.