Tooth Pain

Can A Toothache Cause Shoulder Pain?

If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know it can be annoying and distracting. But what if you’re also feeling a strange pain in your shoulder? Could the two things be connected?

This article will examine the possible connection between toothache and shoulder pain and see what insights can be gained about the causes and treatments.

So, let’s dig in and see if there’s a link between dental discomfort and shoulder soreness. Pain is complicated, and it can come from all kinds of sources.

Toothache and shoulder pain may not seem related initially, but sometimes they are.

It’s important to look into this connection more closely to understand the mechanisms and possible causes.

Understanding Toothache and Shoulder Pain

A toothache means feeling pain or sensitivity in or around your teeth and jaw.

It can go from mild to severe, so too much pain makes it hard to eat, drink, or even think

With shoulder pain, it can be a dull ache, a sharp jab, or a constant soreness in your shoulder or the surrounding muscles.

Possible Connections between Toothache and Shoulder Pain

Dental Nerve Pathways

When you’re dealing with a toothache, it’s possible that it could be causing tension and imbalances in your muscles.

You might not even realize it, but you could be clenching your jaw or changing your head and neck posture, creating tension in the area around it.

Eventually, this tension might move to your shoulders, causing even more pain.

Referred Pain

Pain is often misread by the brain, which causes it to be felt in a different spot than where it’s coming from.

This can happen with various body parts, including teeth and shoulders.

For example, a toothache caused by a dental issue might be felt in the shoulder because of shared nerve pathways.

Muscular Tension

Muscular tension and imbalances can also contribute to the correlation between toothache and shoulder pain.

When you experience dental discomfort, you might unknowingly clench your jaw or alter your head and neck posture, increasing muscle tension in the surrounding areas.

Over time, this tension can radiate to the shoulder region, resulting in additional pain and discomfort.

Common Dental Issues and Their Impact on Shoulder Pain

A few dental problems can cause both toothache and shoulder pain.

It’s important to recognize the link and get the right treatment, so here are three dental issues which can impact shoulder pain.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

The spot where your jawbone hooks up to the bones in your skull is known as the temporomandibular joint.

Gritting your teeth, having your jaw misaligned, or being stressed out can lead to TMJ disorder, which can give you toothache and pain in your shoulder.

That’s because the TMJ is close to the nerves and muscles in your shoulder.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Grinding your teeth, otherwise known as bruxism, is something many of us do – whether it’s during the day or night.

Unfortunately, if you do this a lot, it can cause all sorts of problems, including damaged teeth, jaw pain, and tension in the muscles in your head, neck, and shoulders. Ouch!

Dental Infections

Infections in the teeth or gums can cause severe toothache and swelling.

If left unchecked, the infection could spread to the surrounding areas, such as the jaw muscles and lymph nodes.

The inflammation and pain associated with dental diseases can radiate to the shoulder, exacerbating the discomfort.

Seeking Dental and Medical Help

When faced with toothache and shoulder pain simultaneously, seeking appropriate professional help to diagnose the underlying causes and determine the most effective treatment approach is essential.

A collaborative approach involving both dental and medical professionals can ensure comprehensive care. Here are the steps to take:

Dental Examination and Treatment

Visit your dentist to undergo a thorough dental examination. They will assess your oral health, identify dental issues, and provide appropriate treatment.

Depending on the diagnosis, this may involve dental fillings, root canal procedures, or extraction of the affected tooth.

Medical Evaluation

Talk to your regular doctor or a medical expert about your shoulder pain to check if it’s coming from something other than your teeth.

They can do a physical exam, get you to do some tests, or send you to an orthopaedic specialist if they think it’s necessary.

Determining what’s causing the pain will help decide how to treat it.

Collaborative Approach

Your dentist and doctor must work together and exchange information about your health to give you the best care.

This cross-departmental approach helps tackle dental and skeletal issues all at once and devise a plan that’s just right for you.

Lifestyle Modifications and Home Remedies

In addition to professional intervention, there are lifestyle modifications and home remedies that can provide relief from toothache and shoulder pain.

Here are a few strategies to consider:

Proper Dental Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene to avoid dental health issues that could lead to a toothache is super important.

Make sure you brush your pearly whites twice a day and floss frequently. Don’t forget to get to the dentist’s office for checkups every once in a while.

Doing this can help keep your teeth in tip-top condition and lessen the chances of getting a toothache that can cause shoulder pain.

Stress Management

Stress can exacerbate both tooth grinding and shoulder tension.

Make time in your everyday life for activities that help you de-stress, like meditation, deep breathing, or doing things you enjoy that make you feel calm.

Reducing stress can minimize the potential impact on your teeth, jaw, and shoulder muscles.

Warm Compresses and Pain Relief

Try putting a warm cloth on your jaw or shoulder – it might help the muscles chill out and lessen the discomfort.

If that doesn’t help, you could take non-prescription meds like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Double-check with the dentist if you have other medical issues or are taking other meds.


To summarise, dental and medical issues can be linked with toothache and shoulder pain. Conditions like TMJ disorder, bruxism, and dental infections can cause both aches.

To help ease the pain, you should see a doctor or dentist, take good care of your teeth, stay relaxed, and try home remedies.

If you want to get rid of the pain fast, the best thing to do is get help early and get your dentist and doctor to work together.


Can a cavity cause shoulder pain?

Having a cavity might not be the cause of shoulder pain, but it could eventually lead to one.

In other words, if your cavities are not treated on time, it can cause a dental infection which may cause pain in your shoulder.

So, getting your cavities checked out and fixed is important to prevent further issues.

Why does toothache sometimes radiate to the shoulder?

Toothache can radiate to the shoulder due to shared nerve pathways between the teeth, jaw, and shoulder region.

This phenomenon, called pain, occurs when the brain misinterprets signals and attributes them to a different location.

How can I differentiate between dental and non-dental causes of shoulder pain?

Consulting with dental and medical professionals is crucial in differentiating between dental and non-dental causes of shoulder pain.

They will examine your symptoms and medical history and conduct relevant tests to identify the underlying cause.

Can a toothache go away on its own?

A mild toothache can subside independently, especially if caused by temporary sensitivity.

However, persistent or worsening toothache often indicates an underlying dental issue that requires professional evaluation and treatment.

What should I do if I experience toothache and shoulder pain simultaneously?

If you’re experiencing toothache and shoulder pain, getting dental help is best. See your dentist to sort out any dental problems and determine what’s happening with your shoulder.

It’s important to have both doctors working together to get the best treatment.

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Dr. Ahtsham

I am a dentist. I am working hard to keep this blog updated for those suffering from tooth pain. It is my goal to make this blog the source for all information regarding tooth pain. Feel free to contact me if you are suffering from toothache.

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