Wisdom tooth pain in the ear has been a plight that plenty of us have had to endure at some point in our lives. It’s one thing to feel a bit of discomfort and swelling around the site, but if your wisdom teeth ache all the way up into your ears, then you’re looking at something more severe.
Pain can make its way up through various pathways, so we’ll be discussing what might lead to earache as a result of wisdom teeth problems.
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What Are Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third molars (final set) that appear in the back of the mouth during the late adolescence or young adult stage. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they are believed to emerge when a person is older, wiser, and more mature.
Apparently, these permanent teeth can be difficult to deal with because they tend to grow at odd angles, yet there is not enough space.
This can make it hard for them to break through the gum tissue, which means you may need your wisdom teeth removed.
In some cases, wisdom teeth can also cause pain and discomfort as they grow.
Why Wisdom Teeth are Causing Ear Pain
1. The Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted
The first reason your wisdom teeth can cause pain is that there is a possibility that they are impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth are those that have not broken through the gum tissue and can cause too much pain in other areas of your mouth, including your ears.
They are actually the common teeth to become impacted since there’s not enough room for them in the jaw.
Also, this happens because the pressure from the impacted wisdom tooth causes nerve sensitivity throughout your jaw, resulting in sharp pains in your ear when you eat or chew.
Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Painful And Swollen Gums
Pain and swollen gums can be a sign that your wisdom teeth are impacted. The pressure from the impacted wisdom teeth can make the infection site inflamed, resulting in pain in your ear.
In addition to noticing pain in your ear, wisdom teeth can cause a dull ache near the jaw area of the tooth site. Should you feel pain in such an area, then your wisdom tooth is impacted.
Difficulty Opening And Closing The Mouth
Opening and closing your mouth can be difficult if your wisdom teeth are impacted.
This is because the pressure of impacted wisdom teeth causes tightness in the muscles and joints in the jaw, resulting in difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
Sensitivity To Cold Or Hot Food
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may also experience sensitivity to cold or hot food resulting in improper bite This sensation can extend to your ear and cause sharp pain when eating or drinking.
2. The Wisdom Teeth Are Infected
You could be having an infection in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding area.
This infection can spread to the neighboring molar and inner ear, which eventually leads to pain.
Signs Of Infected Wisdom Teeth
Some of the common symptoms of infected wisdom teeth include the following:
Difficulty Swallowing Food
Pain while eating is one of the common signs of a wisdom tooth infection.
Food intake may be limited due to difficulty in swallowing. This may be due to infected gums or pain while chewing.
Swollen Jaw And Gums
The infection may cause swelling in the jaw and gums near the infected wisdom tooth.
The swollen gums tenderness can be painful and may limit tooth movement in the jaw, causing an improper bite of food as well.
Fever And Headaches
An infection of the wisdom tooth may cause a fever and headaches as the body responds to the infection. A high fever is a sign of a severe infection and should be treated immediately by a medical professional. Otherwise, untreated tooth decay leads to serious medical conditions.
An infected tooth can cause significant pain and make bacteria spread throughout the mouth, leading to a sore throat. This is mostly common in the lower wisdom teeth.
An infected wisdom tooth may cause bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth due to bacteria accumulating around the affected nearby teeth.
Generally, these are a few of the common and typical symptoms, although you may notice other uncomfortable symptoms on infected or impacted wisdom teeth.
Relieving Ear Pain Caused By A Wisdom Tooth
Should you experience earache, it is important first to address the root cause of the recurring ear pain and determine how much pain you are feeling.
- If your wisdom tooth is impacted or misaligned, you may need to visit an oral surgeon for an extraction. In many cases, wisdom tooth extraction will provide immediate relief from ear pain.
- Additionally, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be taken if you experience pain because of the oral cavity.
- Applying a warm, wet compress (like a washcloth soaked in hot water) to the sore area can also be helpful.
- Finally, it is recommended that you practice good oral health, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Your teeth with remain perfectly normal without any problems.
So, Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Ear Pain?
The short answer is yes! While wisdom teeth don’t “directly” cause ear pain, they can certainly contribute to it.
If you have inflamed or infected wisdom teeth, that can lead to referred pain in your ears and should not be left untreated.
And if your wisdom teeth are impacted, that can also cause problems–including ear pain.