Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Neck Pain?
Wisdom teeth are the teeth located at the back of your mouth, and they are the last teeth to come in. The average person has four wisdom teeth, but some people have more, while others don't even have any.
Wisdom teeth can cause problems if they do not come in properly or if they become impacted. This means they are growing in at an angle and pressing against other teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain in your mouth, but can wisdom teeth cause neck pain? Yes, if there is not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt, you may experience severe headaches and neck pain.
If you are experiencing neck pain, it is important to see your dentist or oral surgeon to see if your wisdom teeth are the cause. Keep reading to learn more about how wisdom teeth may cause neck pain and what you can do to find relief.
How Wisdom Teeth May Cause Neck Pain
If there is not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt, severe symptoms may develop. In addition to the discomfort that wisdom teeth can cause in your jaw, gums, and mouth, some people also experience severe headaches and neck pain.
The question of how wisdom teeth can cause neck pain is a controversial one. Some dentists believe that wisdom teeth cause neck pain because they put pressure on the nerves in the jaw. This might in turn contribute to pain in the neck.
Other dentists believe that wisdom teeth cannot cause neck pain because they are not connected to the nerves in the jaw. Interestingly, some people who have had impacted wisdom teeth report experiencing considerable neck pain, while others do not feel a thing.
A person's shifting wisdom teeth may cause natural tension, which is a more obvious cause of neck and back pain. This gradually escalating tension can affect your gums, your jaw, and other parts of your body. As a result, the neck muscles tense up and clench, causing discomfort.
When Glands Become Swollen in the Neck
Swollen glands are typically present when wisdom teeth become either impacted or infected.
- Impacted wisdom teeth are those that either get stuck under the gums or can only partially push through the gums. The jaw, as well as the surrounding glands and lymph nodes in the neck, can become inflamed as a result of impacted wisdom teeth.
- Infected wisdom teeth: One of the initial symptoms of a wisdom tooth infection may be jaw stiffness accompanied by pain and difficulty opening your mouth. Swelling in the jaw area may be present along with the pain, and this swelling may spread to the glands.
Often, the pain and swelling of the glands can be reduced by extracting a wisdom tooth. If you believe that you have painful swollen glands in your neck as a result of impacted or infected wisdom teeth, consult your dentist to discuss a potential extraction.
Home Remedies to Relieve Neck Pain Due to Wisdom Teeth
If you are experiencing neck pain due to your wisdom teeth, some home remedies may help relieve the discomfort.
- Cold compress: For 10 to 15 minutes at a time, apply an ice pack to the neck. To avoid ice burns and skin damage, be sure to use the gel pack with a cloth cover or barrier. Because cold compresses constrict blood vessels and reduce circulation to the area, they are very effective at reducing radiating pain and swelling.
- Heat pads: Neck pain can be quickly relieved by using heating pads or a warm, wet cloth. The heat should help relax your tense muscles if the pain from your wisdom teeth has spread to your neck. You can switch between the two for 20 minutes a few times a day for maximum results.
- Medication: You can also try taking over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease your neck pain. If you'd like to use a medication that helps reduce swelling while relieving your pain, ibuprofen may help reduce swelling while relieving your pain. Check with your doctor or dentist to make sure it is safe for you to take these medications.
- Drink pineapple juice: There is some research to support that the bromelain found in pineapple juice has anti-inflammatory properties that might assist in the relief of pain associated with wisdom teeth. This home remedy could be worth a try if you are experiencing wisdom tooth pain and neck pain simultaneously. The following article provides more information about this remedy:
- 4 Reasons to Try Pineapple Juice for Wisdom Teeth Pa...
Drinking pineapple juice for wisdom teeth probably won't target the pain and inflammation as quickly and effectively as modern medicine. But it does have some surprising benefits. Here are four compelling reasons to give it a try before surgery.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Having your wisdom teeth extracted may be the most effective solution if they are the source of your neck pain and headaches. If the pain is severe, this safe and common dental procedure could be crucial to both your oral and general health.
Most people experience minimal to no pain following surgery. For about three days, you'll probably experience swelling and minimal discomfort. However, the pressure should be immediately released from your jaw and neck.
Speak to your dentist to find out if a wisdom tooth extraction is a solution to your neck pain.
As your wisdom teeth erupt and shift around your mouth, they may have uncomfortable effects on your body, resulting in jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain. Indicators that a wisdom tooth may be infected and require extraction include headaches and neck pain, as well as potentially swollen glands. If wisdom teeth extraction is necessary for you, your dentist can assist.
In the meantime, try to avoid any activities that may aggravate your neck pain, such as yawning, chewing gum, or lying down on your stomach. Sleep with your head elevated on a pillow to help reduce inflammation. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and keep brushing and flossing your teeth to maintain proper oral hygiene.
Sources and Further Reading
- Neck Pain | National Dental Care
Did you know that your irritating headache or uncomfortable neck pain could actually be caused by an issue with your teeth? Oral health conditions can cause pain in other parts of the body, so you may need to visit your dentist to get to the bottom
- WebMD | Wisdom Teeth Removal
The dentist says it's time to have your wisdom teeth removed. WebMD tells you what you should expect?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Louise Fiolek