Ear Pain After A Root Canal: What You Need To Know
If youâve recently had a root canal and your ear has started to hurt, you may be wondering whether these issues are related. The team at Nashoba Valley Dental wants to keep you informed about any possible side effects of root canal treatment and what to do to care for them. Hereâs everything you need to know about ear pain after root canal therapy:
Overcoming Tooth And Ear Pain
If you have tooth and ear pain on the same side, theres a really good chance that you have something like TMJ disorder or a sinus infection going on. Since your TMJ, teeth, ears, and sinuses are all so close to each other, its common to experience referred pain that is coming from one area or the other.
However, issues such as swimmers ear, arthritis, or abscessed teeth can in rare cases cause similar symptoms. If your pain is severe and doesnt go away through routine home care, speak to your dentist or physician to get an accurate diagnosis and specific treatment plan.
What Can I Expect During A Root Canal Procedure
The first step during a root canal treatment is an X-ray to determine the exact source of the issue. Your dentist will then give you a local anesthetic in the infected area, so you wont feel anything during the actual root canal. After the anesthetic has left you feeling comfortably numb, the inside of the tooth is removedthis is known as a pulpectomy and it removes the infected pulp inside the tooth that is responsible for your tooth pain. Your dentist will then thoroughly clean and disinfect the cavity and the area surrounding it before filling and sealing the gap, which stops further infection from decaying the tooth.
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Tooth Infection Spread To Brain Symptoms
As we mentioned, an infection can travel and reach the brain. For this reason, you have to know this tooth infection spread to brain symptoms.
First and foremost, the most common symptom associated with an infection spread is fever. This symptom results from the bodys attempt to fight the virus or bacteria that causes the infection. Besides that, it may come along with chills as well.
Next to fever is a headache. However, it is not a typical one. With an infection spread to the brain, it often leads to a severe headache. Furthermore, this severe headache occurs in a single section of the head only. Unfortunately, not even painkillers can relieve this severe headache. That is why youll be needing a doctors help.
3 Mental State Changes
With an infection affecting your brain, it can also cause mental state and personality changes. For example, a person with this condition usually experiences confusion and gets irritated quickly. They may even have decreased responsiveness as well.
4 Vision Changes
A tooth infection spread to the brain can also cause changes in your eyes. Your vision may become blurry, greying, or perhaps a double vision. It is the effect of the pressure on your optic nerve because of the abscess.
5 Nerve Function Issues
An infection that reaches your brain can affect the function of your nerves. In effect, your muscles may feel weak, have speech problems, or become paralyzed on one side of the body.
Toothache Relief: Dos And Donts From A Trusted Dentist
- Do try over-the-counter pain medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
- Do apply oral numbing gels around the affected tooth
- Do apply ice packs for swelling
- Do apply moist heat for soreness
- Dont place aspirin on your tooth, gums or cheek
- Dont take any medication such as antibiotics or narcotics that were not prescribed for you or for your toothache
- Dont ignore your symptoms
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Can A Toothache Cause A Sore Throat
A toothache and sore throat, accompanied by other cold or flu symptoms, is likely an earache or sinus infection.
However, when cold and flu symptoms are not otherwise present, a toothache and sore throat may be an indication of:
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Tooth infection
In either case, it is recommended to see a dentist as soon as possible. A toothache that is causing a sore throat is the sign of bacterial growth, often due to poor dental hygiene, a high-sugar diet, or dry mouth due to age or medication.
Can An Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess by seeing your dentist routinely and getting regular dental exams and cleanings. Its also important to see your dentist if a tooth becomes loose or chipped. Oral hygiene is very important for dental health. At home, brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
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The Connections Between Ears Teeth And Jaw
Issues with the temporomandibular joint affect the ears and jaw because it is a connection point between the ears and jaw. It ties the skull to the lower jaw, located next to the ear.
Disorders in this region often result in ear pain and hearing loss. In such cases, pain in the ear indicates a dental problem.
When Dental Pain Is Trigeminal Neuralgia
If someone is experiencing chronic pain in their teeth or face that is described as a sharp, shooting pain, the problem may not be dental at all. Trigeminal Neuralgia occurs when the trigeminal nerve is compressed. Because this pain is often felt in the teeth, jaw, and face, it is often misdiagnosed as a dental issue.
Pain that is triggered by chewing or swallowing, talking, head movement, vibrations, or a cool breeze could indicate trigeminal neuralgia . Described as a monotonous pain with bouts of electric shocks of pain, TN may worsen overtime. Medical treatment can help and should be sought.
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How Do I Prepare For An Appointment With My Dentist For An Abscessed Tooth
To help you get ready for your appointment:
- Make a list of your symptoms include any that may seem unrelated to your tooth or mouth pain. Remember, your dentist can only help you when they know everything going on.
- Make a list of medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements you may be taking with the dosages of each.
You should prepare a list of questions to ask your dentist, including:
- Whats likely causing my symptoms and condition?
- Which tests do you recommend?
- What is the best course of action?
- Are there alternative to the primary
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Remember, your dentist wants to help keep you and your teeth healthy. Just like other medical professionals you may see, theyre an important part of the healthcare team. Be sure to see your dentist routinely and dont put off regular checkups prevention is key! These visits give your dentist a chance to spot problems early, when they may be easier to treat. If you are experiencing pain, its important to see your dentist to get the care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2020.
What Is An Abscessed Tooth
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus from a bacterial infection. Abscesses can occur in different places around a tooth for different reasons and affect the involved tooth, but also the surrounding bone and sometimes adjacent teeth. Three types of tooth infections can cause abscesses:
- Gingival: This infection develops in the gums. It does not usually affect the tooth or supporting structures.
- Periapical: A periapical abscess is an infection that forms at the tip of the root. This occurs because bacteria can spread to the inside of the tooth to the pulp through a fracture or cavity. The pulp is the innermost part of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria invades the pulp, they can spread to the tip of the tooths root causing the infection to spread to the bone eventually leading to an abscess.
- Periodontal: This infection starts in bone and tissues that support the tooth. A periodontal abscess usually results from periodontitis or gum disease and is more common among adults.
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Can Poor Oral Health Lead To Poor Brain Health Dementia Or Worse
Are you aware of all the serious health risks that exist when you have poor oral health?
When you lack proper oral hygiene, you run the risk of suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, periodontitis and more.
If left untreated, these dental health complications can progress to more serious, life threatening conditions.
Did you know that you can also develop brain-related complications when you neglect your oral health care?
Thatâs right: studies found a link between poor oral health and poor brain health.
What that means for you?
Your oral health can affect your brain health. And this is perhaps one of the most dangerous outcomes that can result from bad dental hygiene.
Not sure if you have poor oral health?
Here are some examples of poor oral hygiene:
- Eating foods high in sugar
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
And much moreâ¦
Teeth brushing tip: for good oral health, you should brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and floss daily.
Do you want to make sure you maintain a healthy mouth so you can prevent serious brain-related diseases from happening to you?
In this article, you will learnâ¦
- How your teeth and your brain are connected
- Brain health complications that can result from poor oral health
- Signs you might be experiencing tooth decay or gum disease
- What you can do to keep your teeth healthy and thriving
And much, much moreâ¦
What You Can Do To Keep Your Teeth Healthy & Thriving
Protect Your Brain Health By Preventing Poor Dental Health
Do you want to minimize your risk of developing brain diseases like memory loss, dementia and Alzheimerâs?
You can prevent poor brain health by maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Here are the top three things you should do to keep your teeth healthy and thriving:
Do you need a new family dentist?
Great news: the best dental office in Leander is accepting new patients right now.
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Jaw Neck Shoulder Head Pain
The last common signs you have a TMJ disorder is pain in various locations in your body. Most patients will experience pain in their jaw and on their head, specifically in their temples, but it can also occur in the shoulders and neck. Patients might even feel sinus or eye pain and pressure. The pain travels to all these different locations because the TM joint is located near all of the nerves that connect to these different areas. The muscles in the face are also all connected to the muscles in the neck and shoulders. When the TM joint isnt working correctly, pain can have a domino effect throughout your body.
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Oral Soft Tissue Infection
An infection in one of the teeth that has roots leading to the sinus area can result in a sinus infection. This condition can be very painful and difficult to treat once it sets in.
Furthermore, any soft tissue inside the mouth and its surroundings are vulnerable to being affected by the infection.
When the abscess spreads to these areas, this can cause several complications ranging from problems with the airway to facial cellulite.
Symptoms Of Tooth Infection Spreading To The Body
Abscesses can burst on their own, and the pain may diminish. However, it is essential to seek dental treatment because the bacteria can still spread beyond the tooth.
Symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body include:
Dental abscesses can spread, potentially causing life-threatening infections in other areas of your body. Severe pain and flu-like symptoms are common signs of spreading.
How To Differentiate A Toothache From An Earache
Inevitably, there is crossover between the symptoms of a toothache and those from an earache. However, there are some defining differences between pain from a tooth or the jaw and pain caused by an earache or sinus blockage:
- Headaches suggest a toothache. While not a guarantee, tooth and ear pain alongside a headache generally indicates a tooth problem, likely a cavity or other tooth decay.
- Cold or flu symptoms suggest sinus infection. Ear and tooth pain alongside symptoms thought to be from a cold or the flu could be signs of a sinus infection or an earache.
- Consider past history. Those who have chronic ear infections are more likely to be dealing with an ear infection. Likewise, those who have experienced toothaches as the result of dental work, decay, or infection should contact their dentist.
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What Happens If A Tooth Infection Spreads To The Jaw
A tooth infection will not go away if it does not receive the right treatment.
You may feel less pain once the abscesses rupture, but dental treatment is still necessary.
If the abscess is not drained by a dentist, the infection can spread throughout the mouth and into your jaw. Infection that affects the jaw can harm the soft tissue surrounding this area.
The following are the potential health concerns that could happen when you leave a dental abscess unattended:
What Is A Tooth Infection
An untreated dental cavity, a tooth injury, and prior dental work can result in an infection inside or under your tooth. The pulp is the most affected area of the tooth and is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
When a tooth infection occurs, bacteria has the potential to travel from the tooth to the surrounding tissues and bones. Bacterial infection causes a pocket of pus to form in the center of the tooth, this is called a tooth abscess.
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The Cure For An Ear Infection Or Sinusitis
The good news is that your teeth should be fine, even if you have multiple ear or sinus infections that result in tooth pain. As far as treatment goes, often these infections will resolve themselves on their own over time. The pain that results can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, including pain killers, saline sprays, or nasal decongestants, or even home remedies. Antibiotics may be required for persistent infections that do not resolve on their own, but because of overuse of antibiotics, doctor often take a wait and see approach first.
If you have tooth pain, particularly in your upper molars, your dentist can help you discover the cause. Keep in mind that he may advise that you see a doctor instead if he sees that your teeth and gums look healthy and problem free. Your problem may very well be sinusitis or an ear infection instead.
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What Else Have Your Patients Asked About Tinnitus And Dental Issues
Most patients arent aware of the connection between these two issues, and frequently we find that as we go through our comprehensive evaluation, it comes up in conversation. Theres always a chance we can help patients improve through individualized dental treatment. A lot of otolaryngologists also arent aware of the connection, and if they dont see a structural issue such as an ear infection, they may be at a loss as to what to do next. In those cases, patients may end up living with the discomfort. Thats why Im such a proponent of collaboration between providers. It frequently takes two or more specialized doctors to resolve an issue that involves more than one part of the body.
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Is Poor Oral Care Linked To Ear Pain
Mouth pain can be a sign of an ear infection, and pain in your ears can also be a sign of a more significant issue with your dental health. Poor oral hygiene seems like it could be a cause of ear infections, as bacteria build-up in the ears often leads to infections in the mouth, but there is no proven relationship between the two. The link between your mouth and ear infections is merely the pain you may experience in your teeth and jaw when your ears are infected.
How Is A Tooth Infection Treated
Treatment options for a tooth infection include:
- Drainage. A dentist will make a small incision in your gums to drain the abscess. However, this is typically used as a temporary measure, and further treatments are often needed.
- Root canal. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth. The inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and filled. A crown is then placed to help restore the tooth.
- Tooth extraction. In situations when an infected tooth cannot be saved through a root canal, it may be extracted instead.
- Antibiotics.Antibiotics are drugs that can kill bacteria. Theyre sometimes used to treat tooth infections. Depending on the severity of your infection, you may receive oral antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics. Your tooth will also need a root canal or extraction along with the antibiotics.
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When To See A Doctor
A person should see their dentist at the first sign of a tooth infection. Early treatment will help prevent the infection from spreading into other tissues.
A tooth infection that has spread is a medical emergency. Such infections can quickly become widespread and severe. Systemic infections can be life threatening.
A person should contact a dentist for an emergency appointment as soon as possible. If there are no dentists available, a person should visit the emergency department of their nearest hospital.
A dentist or doctor will provide treatments to target the infection and stop it from spreading further.
The type of treatment that a person receives for a tooth infection will depend on several factors, including:
- the initial location of the abscess
- whether, and to what extent, the infection has spread
- the extent of the immune systems reaction to the infection
Possible treatments for a tooth infection include those below.