Posted by Nancy L (220.127.116.11) on August 08, 2001 at 19:30:46:
Oh well, just passing this along.
Hugs and a smile,
Tooth Extractions May Trigger Headaches
By Melissa Schorr
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - That nagging toothache can become a real
headache. In two case studies reported on by a team of German neurologists,
patients having had a molar tooth pulled developed severe cluster headaches,
possibly because the dental extraction triggered reorganization of nerve
tissue in the brain.
In their report, Dr. Peter Soros, a neurologist at the University of
Muenster, Germany, and colleagues described two patients, a 48-year-old man
and a 47-year-old woman, who developed cluster headaches 2 weeks following
molar extractions. Neither patient had suffered severe cluster headaches
prior to the dental procedure.
The patients were treated with drugs that reduced the frequency of the
attacks as long as they stayed on the medication, the researchers noted in
the June issue of Cephalalgia, the official journal of the International
Because head injuries can be related to cluster headaches, the researchers
theorize that the tooth extraction triggered similar changes in the
surrounding nerve tissue that led to reorganization in the hypothalamus, the
part of the brain that may play a role in causing cluster headaches.
However, experts in neurology and dentistry pointed out that the findings
``This is not an outlandish study. I think this is a reasonable
observation,'' said neurologist Dr. Fred Sheftell, president of the American
Council for Headache Education in Mt. Royal, New Jersey, and co-founder of
the New England Center for Headache in Stanford, Connecticut.
Occasionally, he said, irritants can affect the Trigeminal nerve in the jaw
and kick off cluster headaches in patients with a predisposition to them.
However, he added, ``I think it's a rare occurrence.''
``The information is intriguing, but two cases doesn't get us to a pattern
by a long shot,'' said Dr. Kenneth Burrell, senior director of the Council
on Scientific Affairs at the American Dental Association in Chicago,
Illinois. ``I'd like to see more on this, a larger, retrospective study.''
SOURCE: Cephalalgia 2001;21:619-622.
Hugs and a smile,
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