Slight bumps and ridges could be present from birth on your skull, known as congenital skull depression. A dent could result from a head injury you might have experienced in the past or recently. Or it could be a sign of potential underlying health issues such as Gorham’s disease, Paget’s disease of bone, skull base tumors, or vitamin A toxicity. Diagnosis and treatment depend on the various symptoms and the underlying issue behind the cause. Some might be easier to treat with medications other might require surgery.
Finding a dent in your head can be something to worry about, and your mind immediately starts thinking about the source of this dent. Not everyone has a perfectly rounded head shape, and such slight dents here and there are not something to fuss over.
But if you notice a new dent in your head that is quite prominent, it could have formed either due to bumping your head somewhere or an underlying health issue you’re unaware of.
Finding a dent that wasn’t there before isn’t something you should ignore but try to get it diagnosed to find its source and get it treated.
Let’s look at possible underlying health issues and the symptoms that appear apart from a possible dent.
Possible causes of a dent in the head
1. Head injury
It’s quite an apparent cause, and most people would think that they got a dent from when they injured their head. While most toddlers bump their heads, it usually doesn’t leave a dent.
A noticeable dent can only appear when the head receives a blow or impact hard enough. It can even cause a skull fracture and usually occurs when one gets into an accident.
There could be different skull fractures, such as open, closed, depressed, or basal. A depressed fracture is likely to look like a dent. Caused due to a displacement of the bone toward the brain.
If a skull fracture due to an accident has caused a dent in your head, you will feel these symptoms:
- Impaired vision
- Balance problems
If you were in an accident, you would be rushed to the hospital immediately. Only in rare cases, a person feels the impact later, and so if you recently got into an accident and all the symptoms are felt, you should seek immediate medical help.
2. Gorham’s disease
It’s a rare bone disorder characterized by bone loss, often associated with abnormal blood vessel growth. Bone loss can occur in just one bone or spread to soft tissue and adjacent bones.
It mainly affects the skull, collarbone, pelvis, ribs, spine, or jaw.
The symptoms include:
- Increased risk of fracture
- Bone pain
- Decreased range of motion
- Generalized weakness
It’s a very rare bone disease, so chances are you don’t have it, but to be on the safer side, consider focussing on the symptoms and if you are going through something similar, seek medical help.
3. Vitamin A toxicity
People taking vitamin A supplements are most likely to overdose on this vitamin.
Acute toxicity can cause rash, abdominal pain, increased intracranial pressure, and vomiting. Chronic toxicity can cause rash, increased intracranial pressure, sparse and coarse hair, dry and rough skin, and arthralgia.
Especially in adults, the risk of bone fracture increases as it causes softening of bone, including the skull, which can cause indentation to appear.
4. Paget’s disease of bone
There’s interference with your body’s normal recycling process in Paget’s disease.
Usually, our body produces new tissue, which gradually replaces old bone tissue. In Paget’s disease, this process interferes, which causes bones to become misshapen and fragile.
Usually, there are no significant symptoms that can indicate the presence of this disease other than bone pain, deformities, and fractures.
Bone pain can be felt because this disease causes your body to generate new bone faster than usual. This rapid remodeling of the bones is less organized and thus results in weaker bones.
That’s why you can see deformities such as indent in your head.
This disease mainly affects the pelvis, skull, spine, or legs, and if it affects your skull, you might also experience hearing loss or headaches.
See a doctor immediately if you experience:
- Pain in your bone or joints
- Tingling and weakness in an extremity
- Bone deformities such as indent in head
- Unexplained hearing loss, especially on one side
There’s no single reason why someone would suffer from this disease, but environmental and genetic factors could contribute. It could also be hereditary for some people.
5. Skull base tumors
Our skull base consists of several bones that form the bottom of the head and the bony ridge behind the eyes and nose.
Many different kinds of tumors can grow in this area, and if left untreated, they can grow with time big enough to create pressure on the brain.
Symptoms can differ depending on the type of tumor, location, and size. But some common symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Altered sense of smell
- Blurred or double vision
- Trouble swallowing
- Hearing loss
- Loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss
Benign tumors such as fibrous dysplasia and ossifying fibroma may cause an indentation of the skull. The malignant tumors where one type is destructive bone cancer, can cause skull depressions and skull irregularities.
6. Brain surgery
Certain brain surgeries might also leave a small dent in the skull. Some surgeries require specific removals for a short period, but the dent can be resolved once the part is replaced.
Some surgeries might even leave a dent in your head due to a complication that might have arisen.
7. Congenital skull depression
These are apparent kinds of dents in the skull that are present from a person’s birth—usually developing due to the trauma to the head during delivery.
It’s uncommon in western countries where well-qualified doctors for the delivery and healthcare are good.
During the delivery, it could just be a depression in the bone, and in rare cases, it could be a brain injury.
Symptoms of brain injury include:
- Trouble breathing
- Feeding difficulties
Treating head dent
The treatment for an unknown dent will depend on the underlying cause, and it can differ depending on what kind of health issue a person could potentially have.
Usually, it would help if you conveyed any symptoms you might have observed apart from the dent.
After going through your previous medical history and your family medical history, your doctor might suggest a few tests to see what could be the potential health issue causing this dent.
If you’re suffering a dent due to an overdose of vitamin A the easiest way to cure it is to stop taking supplements that could have caused an overdose in your body. Simply by stopping it, the symptoms will go away, and you can go back to being normal.
For Gorham’s disease, the treatment options include surgical removal and reconstruction of the affected area and radiation therapy.
To treat Paget’s disease of bone, people suffering from it usually have elevated levels of alkaline phosphate in their blood, which a blood test can reveal. If the disease affects your skull, it needs to be treated with medications or surgery in rare cases.
For dents caused by skull base tumors, there are a variety of surgical approaches, and 90 percent of the cases can be treated with invasive surgeries.
Afterward, radiation therapy might be recommended.
A depressed skull fracture would need surgery. Removing bone fragments around the brain to decrease the risk of brain damage is the way to treat it. Then the patient receives antibiotics and pain relievers.
Is it normal to have dents in your head?
Not everyone’s head is perfect at birth, and some people might have slight ridges here and there, which could have resulted from congenital skull depression. They’re not to be worried about.
If you’re witnessing a new dent that is quite prominent, it could be a sign of worry, especially if there’re symptoms accompanying it. If you see any such changes, it’s right to seek immediate medical help.
Do dents in the head go away on their own?
A dent in your head might or might not go away so quickly, depending on its cause. Sometimes, there could be slight ridges in our heads that have been present since birth and might not disappear.
If the dents are caused by a health issue or a brain injury, they will be treated using medications or surgery. It depends on how serious the issue is.
Why is my head lumpy?
Few head injuries can make your head lumpy by causing blood clots in different places.
It depends on how serious is the head injury, and typically they should dissolve on their own in a few days. If it doesn’t, and you witness other symptoms, seek medical help.
Do headphones cause head dents?
Headphones can’t cause dents on your head. Using it for a long time might create an impression of a dent, but it can go back to the original shape after a few minutes.
There’s nothing to worry about your headphones causing a permanent dent on your head.
If you have recently discovered a dent in your head, it could be a dent since birth that you didn’t know about, but it could be new which could indicate towards potential underlying health issue.
It’s essential to take note of any other symptoms you might be experiencing to identify the issue when seeking help from the doctor. A faster diagnosis based on your report can help find a better treatment for you.
Ignoring a potential new dent could result in a difficult treatment later on and put you at risk. In most cases, a dent can be easily treated, but in other cases, surgery might be required depending on your current health status.