Back to blog

Why Do I Get a Headache After Dental Work?

Why Do I Get a Headache After Dental Work?

Going to the dentist is difficult enough for many of us. That’s without enduring a painful headache after the dental work is done.

This article outlines the causes of headache following dental procedures, including routine cleaning, and what you can do about them.

Causes of Tension Headache After Dental Work

There are several factors that can contribute to tension headaches after your dental work:


Stress can cause you to unknowingly grind or clench your teeth. While there aren’t too many people who look forward to their next visit to the dentist, the stress and fear experienced by some can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, with Enamel Dental, you can stress-less! Stress headaches brought on by dental visits can be managed through communication, management of stress, and (in some cases) IV sedation or oral sedation.

For information about sedation during your next dentist visit, read our blog post on the topic.


Muscle spasms from opening your jaw wide during the extraction or dental procedure may cause muscular and joint pains. This pain may lead to headaches or migraines.

Headache After Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction, even those without complications, can be a traumatic event for your body. The physical forces required often cause small fractures or tears around the site but can also cause a misalignment in the cranium – known as cranial somatic dysfunction – in severe cases. This can result in headaches and neck pain.

Sinus Headaches After Dental Cleaning

Dental infections and dental cleaning procedures can both lead to sinusitis in some cases. This is an infection in the sinuses that is usually accompanied by a runny nose, dull headache and/or toothache. It may require antibiotics or treatment of the bothersome tooth.

Headaches After Anesthesia

Many patients report suffering headaches after procedures requiring local and general anesthetics. These reactions are most frequently reported when anesthetics are administered to the spine. But, it’s not unheard of for people who have received local anesthetic to feel nausea, pain, fatigue, and mild headaches.


Headaches Can Indicate Oral Health Issues

So, while your headache might result from dental work. It can also indicate that it’s time to see a dentist.

Bruxism (or teeth clenching), for example, is known to cause headaches when it is severe and occurs frequently.

Where does that leave you?

Headaches shouldn’t go untreated. If you’re experiencing headaches following dental treatment, consult with your dentist or physician (or both) to work out the root cause and appropriate treatment.

If you’re experiencing headaches that seem to radiate from your jaw, it might be worth booking an appointment with your Enamel Dental dentist instead of your GP.

In any event, consult a medical professional so you can be on your way towards a pain and headache-free life.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Life

Regular visits to your dentist help you stay happy and healthy into the future. With Enamel Dental, your visit to the dentist will give you plenty of reasons to smile.

Book an appointment with us today!

We’re taking bookings from New Patients – as well as those friendly, smiling faces we’ve seen before.