Can wisdom tooth pain cause ear pain?


Can wisdom tooth pain cause ear pain?

Wisdom teeth are the most reason for toothache in early adulthood. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the age of 17 to 25 years and are the last permanent teeth to emerge in the oral cavity. Problem with the eruption of wisdom teeth arises when there is not enough space for the tooth to fully align and take its position. 

Wisdom teeth were considered helpful to our ancestors but with evolution and changes in dietary habits, a reduction in jaw size has been observed.  For some fortunate people with large jaw size, wisdom teeth erupt normally. There will be slight pain and discomfort while the tooth is coming, once it’s in position, everything’s fine and comfortable. But sadly this is not the case for everyone, for most patients, the jaw bone is not that large to accommodate wisdom teeth and that can lead to wedged in or impacted teeth, which causes partial, tilted or sideways eruption. This incomplete partially erupted tooth can harm the adjacent teeth by putting unnecessary force. This can cause gaps and spaces at inappropriate places, difficult to clean, making it ideal for food lodgement and bacterial superimposition increasing the risk of infection and tooth decay.  Increased pressure on adjacent teeth, bone and soft tissues leads to recurring pain in the jaw and discomfort in the ear, throat, and in cases of infection, fever and malaise.

Common symptoms of impacted wisdom tooth:

Some impacted wisdom teeth cause no pain or discomfort, following are some common symptoms presented by patients with impacted wisdom teeth:

  • Pain and swelling in gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pain in the jaw bone
  • Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
  • Swelling and tenderness around the gums
  • Pain in the ear

If a wisdom tooth fails to erupt correctly or is impacted, partial eruption with unfavourable location such as angle of the jaw, difficulty in brushing, and flossing makes the condition worse with food lodgement and bacterial superimposition causing infection. This leads to increased severity of pain and other symptoms, leaving with no choice but wisdom tooth extraction:

  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Continuous pain around the infected area
  • Radiating pain towards ear, head, and neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty in eating, opening, and closing of the jaw
  • Fever and malaise

Persistent pain and symptoms:

One of the most noticeable symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth is the presence of continuous pain radiating towards the ear, head and neck. This pain can persist for several days and then disappear completely for weeks or months but can recur any moment. If left untreated, infection from the wisdom tooth area can spread to the surrounding tissues towards the throat or head causing inflamed lymph nodes, sore throat, fever, and frequent headaches. 

It is not advisable to overlook the signs and symptoms of persistent pain and discomfort. Wisdom tooth extraction is the only treatment option in cases with persistent infections. We, at Channel Islandsfamily Dental Office, dentist in Ventura, thoroughly examine the patient, take required X-rays to determine the exact position and alignment of your wisdom tooth. 

Contact us

At Channel Islands Family Dental office, we provide a wide range of dental services at our various branches. Improve your smile and health with us. Feel free to call and book your appointments today with our dentist in OxnardVentura, and Port Hueneme.

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