Headaches have so many causes, from neck strain and sinus infections to brain tumors and aneurysms.

But what about wisdom teeth?

“Generally speaking, wisdom teeth themselves do not cause headaches,” says Marco L. Tironi, DDS, who practices dentistry in Rochester, MI.

“There are, however, several ways that wisdom teeth can contribute to head, neck or jaw pain,” continues Dr. Tironi.

“This usually depends on the location of the wisdom teeth, whether they are erupted (in your mouth) vs. impacted (under the gums or bone) and how they fit into your bite.

“When wisdom teeth cause problems with the way your teeth come together and/or discomfort to the muscles we use to chew — this can manifest in the form of headaches, jaw pain or neck pain.”

Strain to the muscles that move the jaw can definitely result in a headache.

This strain can also be caused by TMJ disorder, which is a more common cause of headaches than is an issue with wisdom teeth.

However, there are so many possible causes of headaches that you should not jump to the conclusion that your pain is due to the most serious causes (brain tumor, paranasal tumor, aneurysm) if your ONLY symptom is the headaches.

Millions of people get headaches every day, and common causes are muscle tension, benign sinus issues and a pinched nerve.

TMJ disorder causes a lot of headaches and should always be considered as a possible culprit when a person’s medical tests all come back normal.

If your primary care and other physicians can’t figure out the cause of your recurring headaches (all sorts of tests come back negative), and you’ve eliminated stress and muscle tension as causes – then you may want to visit your dentist and ask about your wisdom teeth.

A dentist will be able to determine if there’s a problem with your wisdom teeth or your temporomandibular joint.

A member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Tironi is trained in sedation dentistry, dental implantology, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.