Why Do I Have Headache After Teeth Cleaning?

March 30, 2023

Many people get a headache after going to the dentist for teeth cleaning. While it is not a common occurrence, it can be concerning. Headaches may indicate an underlying dental problem or that the cleaning procedure was too harsh.

Causes of Headaches After Teeth Cleaning

There are many possible causes of a headache after teeth cleaning.

Muscle tension in the jaw

The dentist or hygienist may need to hold your mouth open for a long period of time during a dental cleaning. This can result in jaw muscle tension and a headache.

Sinus Pressure

Dental cleanings can also cause sinus pressure, which can lead to headaches.

Tooth Extraction

The healing process after tooth extraction can cause headaches. The extraction trauma can also cause tension in the jaw muscles.


Headaches are common if you are sedated during the dental procedure. The sedative can cause drowsiness and heaviness in the head, which can lead to a headache.

Crown Positioning

The process of having a crown placed on one of your teeth can cause headaches because it may change the way your teeth fit together, causing jaw muscle tension.

Headache after Tooth Extraction, Sedation, Crown Placement

Headache as a result of tooth extraction, sedation, or crown placement

Here are some tips to relieve pain if your headache is a result of tooth extraction, sedation, or crown placement.

Medication for Pain

OTC pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, relieve headache pain within a matter of minutes.

Packs of ice

An ice pack on the site of pain can help reduce inflammation and pain.


Make sure you get plenty of rest if you were sedated during the dental procedure. Resting can help your body recover from the sedative’s effects.

Heat Treatment

Applying heat to the affected area can help relieve pain if the headache is caused by tension in the jaw muscles.


If your headache persists after you’ve tried these remedies, it could be a sign of an underlying dental issue. You should see your dentist to determine the source of your headache and develop a treatment plan.

Your dentist may suggest additional treatments, such as:

Bite Modification

If the headache is because of muscle tension in the jaw, your dentist may recommend a bite adjustment to relieve tension and adjust the way your teeth fit together.

Dental Care

If the headache is due to an underlying dental issue, your dentist may suggest additional work to correct it.


In some cases, your dentist may prescribe medications to help alleviate headache pain.

Final Note

While headaches after teeth cleaning are uncommon, they can be concerning. If you get a headache after going to the dentist, you should figure out what’s causing it and come up with a treatment plan. Our professionals at Briar Forest are trained to excellence. Your comfort comes first. Why don’t you get in touch with us at (713) 784-4430.

We are proud to serve patients from all nearby communities, including Briar Forest, The Memorial Villages, Memorial City, Westchase, and Walnut Bend.


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