Do you have a severe toothache that is causing unbearable ear pain? You're not alone. Toothaches are a common symptom of many dental issues and can be incredibly uncomfortable. The worst part is that the same pain in your teeth may also be felt in the ear and vice versa. In this article, you will learn what's causing ear and tooth pain and why these are closely related. We will also discuss how to tell a toothache from ear pain and when to see a dentist.
The human body has plenty of complexities; the nerves in the face, head, and neck are all connected. Pain from a toothache can travel along the nerve pathways to the ear, causing ear pain. This pain can be described as a dull, throbbing ache but can also be sharp and stabbing.
In some cases, the ear pain may be due to an underlying dental issue, such as an impacted wisdom tooth. A weakened enamel, cavity, or faulty restoration can leave the tooth exposed and vulnerable to bacterial infection. If left untreated, the bacteria can lead to an infection and cause intense discomfort due to a damaged nerve in the tooth.
Another cause of ear pain is a tooth abscess. It is a severe infection that can cause intense discomfort and swelling. If left untreated, the infection can go to other nearby areas, causing pain in other teeth and the ears. A dentist needs to address this type of dental problem quickly, as it can be life-threatening if it reaches the heart or brain.
Is It Toothache or Ear Pain?
Ear pain can be distinguished from a toothache by certain signs and symptoms. They can feel similar, so it is important to identify their differences to get the proper treatment.
Toothaches are usually localized to the tooth or jaw and are generally sharp, throbbing, or aching. On the other hand, earaches are commonly accompanied by cold-like symptoms such as sinus congestion, sore throat, or a fever, which are typically not found with toothaches. Pressure or fullness in the ears may also follow.
Suppose you are experiencing unbearable pain in or around your jaw. In that case, an emergency dentist can examine your teeth to determine if it is coming from a single problem tooth or something else.
When to See a Dentist
Toothaches can vary in intensity, from a mild, occasional ache to an intense, persistent pain that keeps you up all night. If the pain is severe and unbearable, book an appointment with a dentist to determine the cause and receive proper treatment. Treating the pain at once will likely prevent you from experiencing it again later on.
Ear pain and toothache are related because they are both caused by inflammation that can spread from one area of the body to another. Remember that the type of toothache causing ear pain needs to be identified to be treated. If cavities, abscesses, sinus infections, impacted wisdom teeth, or temporomandibular joint disorder is present, contact a dental professional to discuss the best course of action.
Get relief from ear and tooth pain by seeing a dentist at Dental House MI. Whether you experience a toothache at night or can't sleep due to extreme tooth pain, we are here to help. We provide a wide range of dental services to patients in Ann Arbor and Waterford.