Toothache And Earache
Can It Be Connected, And If So, How?
To simply answer the question, yes toothache and earache can be connected. Although it may appear unlikely, earache can actually cause toothache and vice versa. Therefore, the real problem here is pinpointing the root cause of the pain. Is it the ears, or is it the tooth? Until this is determined, proper treatment may not be given by your dentist or doctor.
What Causes It?
Alright, so how is it exactly that toothache and earache can be connected? If you can picture how your nerves are distributed, they will look like branches of a tree that spreads throughout your body. And while your nerves would normally send pain signals only towards the affected area, the signal can also be dispersed to unaffected areas. This broadcasted pain is generally called ‘referred pain’ in medicine.
And because the nerves passing through your teeth especially the upper molars are connected to your ears, these two can share pain. This can happen even if the other is completely healthy.
So which one should you visit first, your doctor or your dentist? It depends really. If you recently had a dental treatment procedure (tooth extraction, root canal, crown filling), chances are that the cause of the pain is your tooth. In this case, you should go to your dentist. But if you did not receive any dental treatment and the tooth in question appears healthy, you might want to visit your doctor first.
To diagnose the problem, both your ears and teeth will be examined. It is only through a medical checkup that you can be certain whether the source of the pain is your tooth or your ear.
When a patient finds out that the cause of the pain is his or her tooth, they may immediately think that the ear is healthy. Also, he or she may think that his tooth is healthy if the doctor diagnoses a problem with the ear. But you should be more cautious than this.
You must always consider the possibility that both your ears and your tooth are affected. Although it appears like a case of referred pain, it is still possible that both might be infected.
For instant relief, your doctor or dentist might prescribe pain killer drugs such as Ibuprofen. This will buy your doctor or dentist some time until he pinpoints the main cause of the problem. It might also help to place a cold compress over the painful area to temporarily deaden the nerves.
Toothache and Earache can be connected, and can be treated once the root cause is found.