Can a Toothache Cause Ear Pain

Can a Toothache Cause Ear Pain

Can a Toothache Cause Ear Pain

Toothache is one of the most troublesome pains in the body due to its proximity to your head, making it feel like you simultaneously have a headache, earache and a painful jaw all in one.

Different dental issues cause varying severity of pain, from a dull ache to stabbing pains and tooth sensitivity, so to understand how to treat your pain, you need to get to the bottom of what’s causing the pain in the first place.

Toothache can feel a lot like earache, but that doesn’t mean you have an ear infection, so check for all of your symptoms and possible causes before heading to the wrong doctor.

Causes of Toothache

Causes of Toothache

Toothache can have several different causes, with many parts of your mouth susceptible to problems without proper cleaning and after injuries to the face.

Some causes of toothache include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dental abscess
  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • Broken or loose fillings
  • Damaged dental braces
  • Gum disease
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching

When you follow a healthy diet and teeth cleaning routine each morning and evening, you can reduce your chances of tooth decay which causes cavities, abscesses and gum disease, reducing your chances of experiencing toothache. However, anyone can suffer an injury to the face, bite on something hard which cracks a tooth, or have wisdom teeth growing into the neighbouring teeth, all of which can cause a great deal of pain.

However, the pain from dental issues isn’t limited to pain in the teeth.

Symptoms of Toothache

Some symptoms of toothache include:

  • A dull ache
  • Sharp, stabbing tooth pain
  • Throbbing pain in the teeth or gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Inflammation in the gums
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Fever i.e. feeling hot or cold
  • Bad breath

Most of these issues can be treated with mild painkillers including paracetamol and ibuprofen, however, sometimes, the pain can be so severe, it feels as though the painkillers are not working.

You may also believe that the cause of your headache is due to another factor such as dehydration and seek to improve your symptoms by treating them directly, not realising that you have an issue with your dental health. This can cause the symptoms to worsen over time, so it’s important to maintain good dental hygiene and watch out for your symptoms, as you may have a tooth infection which is causing your other symptoms.

Can a Tooth Infection Spread to the Ear?

Can a Tooth Infection Spread to the Ear?

One symptom many people confuse when in reality they have a dental health problem is earache. Toothache can be so overwhelming and spread throughout your head, that you begin to feel pain in your ear and even your throat. But even though you may feel pain in these places, it doesn’t mean that an untreated tooth infection has spread.

Many people believe they have an ear infection, causing them to see their GP, only to find out that their ears are healthy, but the pain persists. While this can be frustrating, it can be useful to know that tooth infections cannot spread to your ears and cause ear infections.

Once you eliminate an ear infection as the cause of the pain and realise that you have a tooth infection, you can make an appointment to see your dentist. They will give you antibiotics to treat the infection, and your symptoms will clear up, helping your ear to feel better too.

Tooth infections should be treated as soon as possible as untreated infections in the body can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as your immune system is working overtime to fight the infection. This may cause your glands to swell up and a general feeling of fatigue. To avoid this, keep up with regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist, so they can help you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

How to Treat Toothache Effectively

If you’re suffering from toothache, you may want to head straight to the hospital or dentist’s office, but first, you should try to treat the pain yourself. When you start to experience toothache, you should take painkillers and ensure that your teeth are clean. Sometimes, toothache can be solved as simply as pulling out leftover food that’s somehow stuck between or under one of your teeth, causing pressure to build up in your teeth or gums.

However, severe toothache can be as a result of bacteria in your mouth causing an infection, or a damaged tooth causing a throbbing sensation and tooth sensitivity. Rinse your mouth with salt water or mouthwash to clean your mouth as much as possible and take painkillers to help you carry on your daily activities as normal.

Ibuprofen can help reduce any swelling, and paracetamol can block the pain signals being sent to your brain. If the pain is severe, you can take both, two hours apart, but never take more than advised on the packet.

What to Do if Your Toothache Doesn’t Go

What to Do if Your Toothache Doesn’t Go

If after 2 days your toothache hasn’t gone, and the painkillers aren’t effective, you should make an appointment to see your dentist right away. You may have a damaged tooth or a tooth infection, which needs to be treated quickly. When you call your dentist or out-of-hours dentist for an emergency appointment, they will assess the severity of your needs and book you in with an appointment as soon as possible.

Upon examination, the dentist will decide if you need to have your tooth removed immediately, or whether your toothache is a result of an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. If your tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area so you won’t feel any pain while the tooth is being removed.

However, once the anaesthetic has worn off, you will feel some pain in the area, as well as experience some swelling and bruising of your face and should take painkillers as per your dentist’s recommendations.

Can You Go to a Hospital for Toothache?

Toothache can be unbearable and it can take a long time to get an appointment with an NHS dentist for a tooth extraction, but unfortunately, GPs cannot help with dental issues, and hospitals can only help in very extreme circumstances.

Only go to the emergency department of a hospital for toothache if:

  • You are bleeding heavily
  • Your eyes, neck, lips or tongue are swollen
  • You’re struggling to breathe, swallow or talk

These are potentially life-threatening situations where emergency doctors can help, however, you will still need to have any problematic teeth removed by a dentist. The staff in the emergency room will do their utmost to ease your symptoms and help you leave the hospital well, but you should see a dentist for dental health issues.

Why You Should See a Private Dentist

Why You Should See a Private Dentist

Having a tooth extraction on the NHS may be cheaper than going private at just £70.70, but you’ll usually have to wait between 6 and 12 months for your appointment – if you’re able to register with the practice at all. Many people consider it worth it to see a private dentist, as you’re able to have an appointment much quicker, as well as receive high-quality care with expert equipment.

Being able to get an appointment at a time that suits you isn’t just a benefit of going private for your schedule, but it helps to prevent more problematic and expensive dental issues further down the line and treat those that crop up when they need doing to save you from suffering.

Book Your Appointment with Didsbury Dental Practice Today!

Fed up with suffering from toothache, waiting for an NHS dental appointment or simply ready to book your routine dental appointment? Contact Didsbury Dental Practice today to get your dental appointment in Manchester at a time that’s convenient for you.

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