What does it Mean if a Toothache Causes Ear Pain Too?

Categories: Dental Emergency

tooth and ear painSCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA

When a person has a toothache, it can be painful and inconvenient. Sometimes it starts out as a dull ache, or it can be very intense from the beginning. There are many times that a toothache can cause pain in other areas, such as the ears. Toothaches can sometimes make you feel like you have an earache. In today’s blog, our Scotts Valley emergency dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry discuss the reasons why a toothache can cause ear pain.

Toothache causes

Toothaches can be caused by many different things. In most cases, toothaches are caused when the nerve in the root of the tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. The most common causes of toothaches are caused from dental decay, infection, or injury. Sometimes even an old dental restoration such as a crown or filling can come loose and cause issues as it exposes the tooth’s nerve to bacteria, air, and saliva. Any of these scenarios can leave a tooth vulnerable to a toothache and, if left untreated, can cause infection and pain.

Types of tooth pain

Tooth pain can start out as an occasional zing or a throbbing pain that keeps you up all night. Our dentists here at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry recommend seeing a dentist immediately if you have any dental pain. Even if it seems like it’s not a big deal, seeing a dentist when pain first appears can help prevent worsening pain in the future. Let’s go over some different types of tooth pain and what they could mean.

The difference between an earache and a toothache

Symptoms of an earache can include pain in or around the ear, fever, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, sinus problems, hearing difficulty, and trouble balancing. Symptoms of a toothache can include pain inside or around the tooth, an aching sensation after you’ve eaten or consumed a hot/cold beverage, or swollen glands. The best way to determine what could be going on is to make an appointment with our office so our dentists can examine you.

Could a toothache cause ear pain?

Yes, a toothache could cause ear pain. Our teeth are very close to our ears, and the main nerve runs from the upper and lower jaw, around the jaw joint, and into the head to connect to the spinal column. This nerve is known as the trigeminal. Nerves are known to cause referred pain which makes people think they are hurting in one area of their body when in reality, it’s another area. Toothaches often radiate to other areas like the head, face, or neck and can even cause pain in the ears.

An abscess could be another reason a person has a toothache. An abscessed tooth is caused by an infection that leads to facial swelling and extreme pain. There have been cases where an abscessed tooth was left untreated, and the swelling and infection spread, which caused pain in the ears and surrounding teeth. They could also be life-threatening if the infection were to spread to the heart or the brain. Abscessed teeth are very serious, and a person with one needs to see a dentist as soon as possible.

Emergency Dentists in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz

No one ever expects to get a toothache. They can happen at the most inconvenient times and cause a great deal of pain. A person should see a dentist when experiencing a toothache. If you are having pain radiating to your head, face, or neck, please call our office at (831) 438-4411. Our dentist here at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry would love to see you.