An earache can be quite painful at times, and the immediate assumption is that the pain is the result of some problem within the ears. Interestingly, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to a condition within your ears at all. A number of dental health problems can cause ear aches as a common symptom.
Some of the most common kinds of dental problems may result in earaches.
Your Ear Pain May Not Be Caused By Your Ears
Experiencing an earache can be quite painful at times, and most immediate assumptions are that the pain is the result of some issue within your ear. However, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to an ear condition at all. A number of dental health problems can lead to earaches as a symptom.
Tooth Decay and Ear Pain
Having a bad untreated cavity or suffering from significant tooth damage can be extremely painful. If the affected tooth is also a molar, it’s possible for the pain you are experiencing in the back of your mouth to radiate to the ear area. If you are suffering from an earache in addition to mouth pain, tooth decay may be the cause. Mistaking this type of pain is common, and thankfully cavities and tooth decay can be treated easily by your dentist.
Root Canal Infections
There is a hollow chamber inside of each tooth that contains a substance known as dentin. If bacteria gains access to the dental pulp by way of tooth decay or tooth damage, it can cause a painful infection inside the tooth. If it is one of the molars infected, again, the pain can radiate to your ears.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Stressed placed on the teeth from clenching and grinding while you sleep can easily lead to tooth damage, sore teeth, and other dental issues. The amount of pressure placed on your teeth in this instance often causes patients to experience ear pain and headaches. If you are waking in the morning with severe head pain, bruxism may be to blame.
Your temporomandibular joint is the juncture between the upper and lower jaw, and one of the most complicated joints in your entire body. A TMJ disorder is commonly identified by the telltale popping, clicking, or locking of the jaw. Pain in the jaw, neck, and ears are all potential symptoms of TMJ disorders as well.
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.
Discussing a Solution With Your Dentist
If you are experiencing ear or mouth pain, it’s vital to schedule an exam with Dr. Kim Okamura DDS. Any cranial or facial pain can be signs of a severe health issue. Discussing these problems with your dentist means getting the pain relief you need as soon as possible while preventing any severe potential wellness issues down the road.
For more information about the link between earaches and dental issues, be sure to contact our Seattle office today.