Headaches and migraines can be very debilitating. This is why there are so many medicines to stop them. Although there are several health issues that can cause a migraine, it's not uncommon to see the problem come from another angle altogether. Not taking proper care of your mouth could result in you facing more migraines over time. Here is an overview of how oral hygiene is connected to some migraines.
Headaches and Oral Bacteria
The mouth is host to a lot of bacteria. That is why we recommend that everyone brush and floss their teeth every day. However, research has shown that there is a very high correlation between certain bacteria in the mouth and migraines. Some of these bacteria, especially in large quantities, can allow food that has nitrites to convert it into nitric acid. When someone consumes foods high in nitrates, such as wine, bacon, and chocolate, the number of bacteria significantly increases. This causes the bacteria to change the nitrates into nitrite, which has a peculiar effect on the body.
Scientists say that when this compound is released into the bloodstream, it causes the blood vessels to dilate. This causes the blood flow to increase in some sections of the brain, while not in others. This instability then causes migraines to start.
The head, in general, has a lot of interconnecting nerves. Oral infections are systematic and tend to move fast. When an infection reaches the blood vessels and nerves of the teeth, it can cause a lot of pain. In the head, the trigeminal nerve is responsible for feeling in most parts of the face, including teeth, upper and lower lips, and your gums. Because of any attack on nerves interconnected with this one, you can end up with a nasty migraine, which in most cases, is one-sided.
Taking care of our oral hygiene benefits our teeth and keeps certain ailments away from us. Always ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice and floss every day. To find out more, give our office a call.