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Your Ear Pain May Be the Sign of a Dental Problem

By Bruce Wilderman on September 13, 2015

A possible dental problem?Dr. Bruce J. Wilderman has distinguished himself as one of the leading dentists in the greater Philadelphia area. He offers patients advanced restorative dentistry treatments for the teeth and gums, with a focus on achieving total wellness.

What's interesting about dental problems is that they reveal the ways various parts of the body are linked or interconnected. For instance, a bad case of ear pain may actually be a sign that something is wrong with your dental health.

Your Ear Ache May Not Be About Your Ears

An ear ache can be quite painful at times, and the immediate assumption is that the pain is the result of some problems with the ears. Interestingly, that ear pain you experience may not be related to an ear condition per se. A number of dental health problems can actually cause ear aches as a symptom.

Let's go through some of the most common kinds of dental problems that may result in ear aches right now.

Tooth Decay and Ear Pain

If you have a bad cavity or have suffered major damage to a tooth, it can be quite painful. When one of your molars has been affected, it's possible for the pain you experience in the back of your mouth to radiate to the ear area. This mistake is common, and thankfully cavities and tooth decay can be treated with relative ease.

Root Canal Infections and Ear Pain

Inside of each tooth is a hollow chamber that contains a substance known as dental. If bacteria accesses the dental pulp (often via tooth decay or tooth damage), it can cause a painful infection of the tooth. When it's one of the molars that has been infected, again, the pain can radiate to the ear area.

The best remedy in these situations is root canal therapy, which removes the infected pulp and saves the tooth from being extracted. Patients may also notice ear pain as a sign of an unsuccessful root canal procedure.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) and Ear Pain

Teeth grinding refers to the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth while a person is asleep. When this happens, the stress placed on the teeth can lead to tooth damage, sore teeth, and other kinds of dental problems. Given the amount of pressure placed on the teeth in such instances, it's not uncommon for patients to experience ear pain as part of the problem.

TMJ Disorders and Ear Pain

We've focused a lot on the molars and how tooth pain can radiate out from that part of the mouth. The same can be applied to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is the juncture between the upper and lower jaw, and one of the most complicated joints in the entire body. A TMJ disorder is commonly identified by the telltale locking, popping, and clicking of the jaw, though pain in the jaw, neck, and ear area are all potential symptoms as well.

Always Discuss Head or Facial Pain Issues with Your Dentist

Ultimately, it's important that you discuss any cranial or facial pain with your dentist as these can be signs of a dental health issues. Talking about these problems with your dentist means getting the help you need as soon as possible, and preventing some potentially serious wellness issues down the road.

Learn More About Your Options for Advanced Dental Care

For more information about your options for advanced dental care, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our entire team looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

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