Get access

Cough Headache Presenting as a Toothache: A Case Report


  • Elizabeth Moncada D.D.S.,

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Corresponding author
    1. Orofacial Pain & Dysfunction Program, Pain Management Center, UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, California;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Steven B. Graff-Radford D.D.S.

    Associate Director, Director
    1. UCLA Pain Management Center, School of Dentistry, CHS 43009, Los Angeles, California;
    2. Head & Neck Section, Anesthesia Pain Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
    Search for more papers by this author

UCLA School of Dentistry, Section of Orofacial Pain, CHS 43-009, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90024



Benign cough headache (BCH) presents as an intermittent, usually bilateral, severe bursting or explosive pain brought on by coughing. Some of the known conditions which can mimic the pain experienced in BCH are subarachnoid hemorrhage, increased intracranial pressure, intracranial tumors, and even toothache. Careful evaluation must be carried out in order to differentiate between these conditions. A case of BCH which presented as a toothache is reported. The evaluation for exertional headaches, and for headaches brought on by coughing, is discussed.