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cavity tooth hurts -->now headache??
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Avatar universal
cavity tooth hurts -->now headache??
I have a cavity that i should have gotten fixed MONTHS ago but waited too long to get it fixed and now sometimes when i drink something cold or cold air enters my mouth my tooth hurts really bad and i have to drink something hot to calm the pain...my dentist said i most likely need a root canal. i just got a filling for it 4 days ago to see if it would fix the problem but it didnt so i definitely need to go back and get a root canal. its been about 5 months if not longer with this hurting tooth..

I now have been getting headaches almost everyday for a little more than a week now. they come and go and are relieved with ibuprofen but MY QUESTION IS would this possibly be the reason for my headaches?????
i have no other symptoms.
?

thank you in advance!
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18 Answers
18 Answers
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540545 tn?1377626518
Its definitely a possibility.  When you get the root canal started, it should help alleviate the symptoms.
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Avatar universal
So are you saying after i get my root canal my headaches should go away???
thanks,
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Avatar universal
ALSO, just to reiterate, my tooth doesn't hurt ALL THE TIME. just sometimes when i drink something cold or cold air enters or i go in the ocean with the cold water..then it does hurt kinda bad...

but these headaches are pretty much everyday..

thanks
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540545 tn?1377626518
Sorry.  Yes, the pain could be referred to your headache region so that's why you're experiencing the pain.  Usually resolving the cause (the tooth infection) can alleviate the headaches.
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Avatar universal
So is a cavity a tooth infection? and once i get my root canal, i wont have a tooth infection anymore???
Thanks doc!
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540545 tn?1377626518
Yes, a cavity is essentially a breakdown of the solid tooth structure due to bacteria growing on your teeth, releasing acid and dissolving it slowly.  Once it makes it way inside the tooth, it can infect the pulp where the nerves and blood vessels are.  This can result in pain that travels down the nerve and can stimulate pain in other areas.
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Avatar universal
...and that can mean pain as in Headaches? almost daily until i get a root canal?
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540545 tn?1377626518
Its possible.  When are you scheduled for your root canal?  If you're afraid its something worse, I would suggest you go to your primary care MD and get it checked out.
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Avatar universal
i was going to wait until the end of the week and see if it gets better. then it would be about 2 weeks with my headache. then if it persists this weekend, i was going to schedule a root canal next week sometime...and hopefully when i get my root canal it will clear up..

i dont know what else it would be? i usually never get headaches but since ive had this tooth ache/cavity for far too long, and its my upper very back tooth, it might be causing pain cause its very close to the nerves (as my dentist said)...
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Avatar universal
?
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540545 tn?1377626518
Schedule your root canal as soon as possible.  The sooner you take care of it, the sooner you'll get some relief.  I still think its your tooth that's causing the headaches.
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Avatar universal
I've gone through the exact same thing 3 times now.  Yes, a bad enough tooth leads to a headache that, in my case, was localized to the temple area on the same side as the respective tooth.  The way I could tell was drinking cold water made my headache instantly and severely worse when the offending tooth was in contact.
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Avatar universal
thank you, Jerome Tsang...

thank you, snowsongwolf...
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Avatar universal
did you get headaches almost everyday until you got it fixed?
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Avatar universal
"...when the offending tooth was in contact" <--- I dont understand that part...

but taking from your advice, i actually drank some cold water and put it over my tooth that hurts and honestly, two minutes later, i got a headache kinda bad!!!

yikesssssss
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Avatar universal
Jerome,
Did my above comment about drinking the cold water make sense to you? does that help clear up the confusion about my headaches you think???
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540545 tn?1377626518
Most likely.  Sounds like you need the root canal done to relieve your pain.
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Avatar universal
thanks!
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