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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6017
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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When my teeth hurt my jaw and neck hurt also

Customer Question

when my teeth hurt my jaw and neck hurt also
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 9 years ago.

Yes-- inflamed wisdom teeth have the potential for causing pain that may be either perceived as coming from or actually be coming from the neck. This may come about through any of three mechanisms:

1. Pain referral: it is common for pain that originates in the mouth to be perceived as being located over a larger area or even a different area from its point of origin; this is a result of the intrinsic way that the nerves in the mouth and surrounding anatomical areas function.

2. Lymphadenitis: inflamed wisdom teeth-- especially chronically inflamed wisdon teeth-- can lead to inflammation and swelling of the lymph glands in the neck. These lymph glands serve to filter and sequester any septic material that flows through them from the mouth via the lymph vessels. Inflamed lymph glands feel sore, and may be especially tender if pressure is applied to them.

3. Direct extension of oral infection: this is perhaps the most serious complication of wisdom tooth infection, because infection that extends into the tissue spaces of the neck can compress and even obstruct the airway.

Regardless of the mechanism by which your wisdom teeth are causing pain in your neck, chronic wisdom tooth inflammation merits a visit to your dentist to determine whether some type of formal professional intervention is necessary.

Hope this helps...