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Can toothache make your head move left to right slightly but constantly ?



Jul 30, 2014
I have had toothache for about 4 days now which I will go to a dentist about next week. It is chronic and gnawing and throbbing constantly, but 4 pain pills seem to ease it off enough to get by for a few days. But it made me think, for the last month I have had a very strange left to right motion happening with my head, it is very subtle and not noticeable in the mirror or to others, but when I have my glasses on for instance i can see the outer frame of them quickly move left to right constantly, a bit like a metronome or pendulum, but only very slight. It is a bit like the sensation of teeth chattering, but left to right. It seems to be coming from my chin or jaw, but is effecting my whole head.

I just wondered if toothache (lower near back of teeth) can cause this sensation ? It started 3 weeks before I noticed any tooth pain though which confuses me a bit. It may have nothing to do with it, and might be related to other things, but if a dentist is here I wondered if they can tell me if they have heard of this before (or anyone who has maybe had it).

If you shake your head very slightly left to right, as though cold, or like very old people sometimes do, it is a bit like that.

Thanks all.
Re: Can toothache make your head move left to right slightly but constantly ?

I've not heard of this. I sometimes have a small tic like you're describing, but never in connection with anything tooth-related. Sometimes, though, things like this are connected with anxiety. Are you feeling particularly scared of what may have to be done to your tooth? Or do you even know if it will need anything?
Re: Can toothache make your head move left to right slightly but constantly ?

Thanks. Ah, that could be it. I suffer badly with anxiety, I have had vision problems recently and got very worried about that as I thought it could be MS or a brain tumor, this head shaking/tremor started around a month after I panicked non-stop about my vision. I think I suffer from GAD which makes going to dentists, opticians and doctors hard too, especially as I weigh 33 stone and am always worried about breaking chairs or not fitting in them, so I tend to get stressed out at home with just myself and Google, which is a bad combination. Yet because of my anxiety and depression I eat to feel better, so I never end up losing enough to be more confident about visiting places, it is a never ending circle of anxiety. Due to the sheer pain though I am going to pluck up the courage to see a dentist next week, I guess sometimes pain can overcome fear and embarrassment.

At the moment I have no idea what will need to be done with my tooth. I remember once (5 years ago) a dentist was trying to remove my tooth for 90 minutes, it broke up and she got in another 2 dentists to try to grab the root. Even with the injection I could feel the hard numb pressure on my jaw with every tug and push. I needed to go to the hospital to have the root taken out, but I backed out as a scan said my tooth was near a nerve and I could end up with permanent damage. So I look online to what that means, and I back out in case that happens to me. But it has now left me with a fear of nerve damage, and I know this pain feels like a back wisdom tooth. It is a constant gnawing and throbbing feeling, I can't drink or eat anything of any texture or temperature on that side as even with pain killers it is chronic, I can't brush my teeth in that area either. If liquid accidentally gets in that area there is about a 3 second gap between liquid and pain hitting. I also find if I turn over in bed or sit up from bed, the pain will throb badly for a while even with pain killers. I have high-normal blood pressure.

Thanks for your input, I really hope the head shaking is just my anxiety playing up.
Re: Can toothache make your head move left to right slightly but constantly ?

Ok, this makes more sense now. Remember that you don't know what will have to be done to your tooth. I imagine a lot of your fear is because of the botched extraction. This tooth might only need a filling. If it needs more, you probably should ask about different sedation options than the kind you had for the last bad experience. Something stronger often makes the dentist's job easier too.

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