Do Dental Implants Trigger Migraine Symptoms?

Do Dental Implants Trigger Migraine Symptoms? By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | November 20, 2022

Migraine headaches are a common health problem, and they can be debilitating. If you suffer from them, you know that anything that triggers a migraine can be a real problem.

While the cause of migraines is still not completely understood, there is growing evidence that certain foods, beverages, smells, or environmental factors may trigger them. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the potential link between dental implants and migraine headaches.

Do dental implants trigger migraine symptoms? This question is still being studied, but we have some information to help you decide if dental implants are right for you. Keep reading to learn more!

calm woman during the dental examination in clinic

Can Dental Implants Cause Headaches?

Dental implants are a popular way to replace missing teeth and offer many benefits. However, some people may experience headaches after having dental implants placed. While dental implant treatments require some healing time, it’s a common misconception that headaches are a normal part of the process.

There are a few possible reasons for the headaches that some implant patients are experiencing, including:

Nerve Damage

One dental implant complication that can cause headaches is nerve damage. This occurs when the dental implant damages the surrounding nerves.

Nerve damage is a surgical complication that can occur with any surgery. It can cause various symptoms, including pain, numbness, and tingling.

Headaches are a common symptom of nerve damage. The exact mechanism is not fully understood, but the damaged nerves are thought to send signals to the brain that are interpreted as pain. In some cases, nerve damage may also interfere with blood flow to the brain, leading to headaches.

Treatment for dental implant-related nerve damage involves managing the pain with over-the-counter pain medications and avoiding trigger foods or activities. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the dental implant.

Misaligned Bite

When the dental implant is not placed in the same location as the original teeth, the result is a misaligned bite. While this is not a serious medical condition, the dental prosthesis attached to the implant can become crooked or off-centred. This can be cosmetically unappealing and cause difficulty with eating and speaking.

A bad bite can cause the teeth to come into contact with each other in an unnatural way. This can lead to pain, inflammation in the muscles and joints of the jaw, and tension headaches. In addition, dental implants can also trigger migraine headaches in some people.

Metal Allergy

If you have a metal allergy, you may be at risk for an allergic reaction to the metal in the dental implant. People with metal allergies may experience headaches, muscle pain, and indigestion. It can also cause a rash or hives.

Sinus Damage

Sinus cavity damage is a complication that may occur if the implant’s metal post is placed too close to the sinus cavity. This damage can cause head pain and other symptoms such as sinus pressure, facial pain, and difficulty breathing through the nose.

If you’re an implant patient experiencing frequent headaches after dental implant surgery, talk to your dentist. They may perform a bite analysis or check for other complications that may have occurred.

What Are the Possible Complications That Can Arise With Dental Implant Surgery?

Dental implant surgery is a major dental procedure with a risk of complications. Here are some of the most common dental implant surgery complications:

Bleeding

Bleeding is a common complication after any surgery. Usually, dental implant surgery is not associated with much bleeding. However, if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, you may be at increased risk for excessive bleeding.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

Dental implant surgery requires your oral surgeon to drill into the jaw bone to place the false tooth. If they are not careful, they can damage the adjacent teeth.

Nerve Damage

One of the nerves in your jaw bone, the inferior alveolar nerve, passes very close to where dental implants are usually placed. If this nerve is damaged during the installation of the replacement teeth, it can result in numbness or tingling in your lip and chin area.

Sometimes, this nerve damage is temporary and will improve on its own. However, in severe cases, the nerve damage can be permanent.

Infection

Any time you have surgery, you risk developing an infection at the surgical site. Infection is more likely to occur if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system. Symptoms of an infected dental implant may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • An abscess around the site

If you develop an infection, it will likely require treatment with antibiotics. In some cases, the dental implant may need to be removed. To prevent infection, good oral hygiene is a must.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a condition that causes persistent pain and tenderness in the muscles and joints around your jaw joint. Neck pain is a common symptom. This condition can be aggravated by dental implant surgery due to the placement of the dental implants in the bones of your jaw.

If you experience TMJ dysfunction after dental implant surgery, your doctor may recommend splint therapy to help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, TMJ dysfunction may require surgical intervention to manage it.

It’s important to seek treatment for this condition because it can lead to long-term problems with jaw function if not managed immediately.

When it comes to dental implant surgery or any other surgery, meticulous planning is needed to achieve success and positive outcomes.

What Are the Signs of Dental Implant Failure?

Dental implant failure can occur for many reasons. The most common signs and symptoms of dental implant failure include the following:

  • Bone loss around the implant: If you notice that the bone surrounding the implant is already starting to recede, this could be a sign of the bone around the implant deteriorating. Over time, this can cause the implant to become loose and eventually fail.

  • Natural teeth become loose: If dental implants are not placed correctly, they can put unnecessary stress on nearby teeth. This can cause natural teeth to become loose or even fall out.

  • Jaw bone becomes weak: Extensive bone loss around dental implants can weaken the jaw bone and make it difficult to chew or speak properly. In severe cases, the jaw bone may even collapse. Insufficient bone strength can lead to implant failure.

  • Dental implant moves: Implants that don’t fuse with the jawbone are more likely to move as they fail to achieve a stable foundation in the bone. With continuous movement, these implants may eventually fall out.

  • Gum recession: The gums follow the form of the bone. If you notice your gums starting to pull away from your implant and expose the metal base, this is a sign that the attachment between the implant and the bone is failing and starting to break down.

  • Infection develops: Severe pain, swelling, drainage, and fever are signs of an infection. If left unaddressed, it can lead to the death of bone tissue and failure of the dental implant.

Dental implant failure is a serious complication that should be taken seriously by both patients and dental professionals alike.

While dental implants are generally a successful treatment option for missing teeth, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dental implant failure so that treatment can be started as soon as possible.

With prompt treatment, dental implants can usually be saved to allow patients to enjoy many years with their new teeth.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants are artificial replacements for natural teeth. They are usually made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that is well-tolerated by the body. The titanium dental implant is inserted into the jaw bone to act as a new root system for teeth.

Surgery is required to place the artificial tooth, and, despite the advanced technology, surgical complications are always a risk. However, dental implants are generally considered to be safe. In fact, they have one of the highest success rates of all dental procedures. With proper care, dental implants can last for decades.

Final Thoughts

There is some anecdotal evidence that dental implants can cause migraine headaches. While there is no definitive proof that dental implants cause migraines, some experts believe that nerve and sinus damage and improper implant placement causing jaw misalignment can lead to headaches.

At Darch Dental Centre, we want our patients to have all the information they need before making decisions about their oral health care. We encourage you to visit our website or call us today to book an appointment and learn more about dental implants as a solution for tooth loss and whether they could be right for you. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked questions

Dental implants are ideal for people who:

  • Are missing one or more teeth
  • Have damaged or decayed teeth
  • Have injuries to the mouth
  • Have a jaw bone that has begun to deteriorate
  • Have difficulty speaking or chewing because of missing teeth
  • Want to improve their smile
  • Want to feel more confident about their appearance
  • Want a long-term option for their dental needs

Dental implants may be one of the most popular tooth replacement options, but they can also be one of the most expensive. Dental implants can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 per tooth.

There are several reasons why dental implants are so costly, which include the following:

  • Dental implants require surgery, which can be complicated and expensive.

  • Dental implants are often not covered by dental insurance.

  • The dental implant process can cause complications such as infection, which can be costly to treat.

  • Dental implants can be difficult to place in certain areas of the mouth, which can increase the cost of the procedure.

  • Dental implants require adequate bone structure to succeed. To have sufficient bone, clients with bone loss may need a bone graft procedure which could add to the cost.

For all these reasons, dental implant procedures can be very costly. However, most patients feel that the benefits of this dental technology outweigh the cost, making them worth the investment.

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. With proper care, they can last for many years. However, some factors can affect the longevity of dental implants, such as:

  • The quality of the dental implant
  • The quality of the surgery
  • The aftercare

Dental implants can fall out, and this can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Poor implant placement: If the surgery to place the dental implant is not performed properly, the implant can become loose and fall out.

  • Infection: If the area around the dental implant becomes infected, it can cause the implant to become loose. A loose implant can eventually fall out.

  • Weak bones: If the bones in the jaw are weak or not strong enough to support the dental implant, it is possible for the implant to fall out.

  • Trauma: If the dental implant is hit or otherwise traumatised, it can come loose and fall out. Bruxism, or teeth grinding during sleep, may cause the loosening of the implant.

  • Poor dental hygiene: If the dental implant is not kept clean, it is more likely to become infected or otherwise damaged, which can cause it to fall out. Severe gum disease and gum recession can cause implants to fall and fail.

Dental implants falling out is a serious complication that can happen after surgery. If you have a dental implant, it is important to be aware of the causes of implant failure so you can take steps to avoid them.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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