Burke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station, VA

A toothache can affect your mood, how you eat and your ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, tooth pain also can lead to ear pain. Why does this occur? We explore this topic today on the blog, and also share how your Burke dentist Pamela Marzban, DDS, can provide relief.

What is the link between tooth pain and ear pain?

If you’re living with tooth pain, it may be a dull, consistent throb or a sudden sharp pain that appears out of nowhere. Tooth pain often can be triggered by pressure in the mouth or the temperature changes that occur when you eat and drink hot or cold foods and drinks. By contrast, earaches usually manifest as a mild and prolonged feeling of discomfort. In most cases, the exact location of ear pain is near the jaw and neck.

Your jaw joints and your ears are located in close proximity to one another. When a toothache impacts your ears, this creates what is known as referred pain, which occurs when you feel pain in one area of the body but the source of the discomfort is from an adjacent area.

What dental problems can cause ear pain and tooth pain simultaneously?

  • Temporomandibular joint disorder: Also commonly known as TMJ disorder, this ailment occurs when the temporomandibular joint enters the state of dysfunction. This joint is a small, round joint that connects the jawbone to the skull on either side of the head. TMJ disorder is estimated to affect approximately 15% of the adult population of the United States. A malfunction of the temporomandibular joint has a radiating effect, potentially causing jaw pain, tooth pain and, you guessed it, ear pain. We can treat your TMJ disorder in Burke.
  • Oral infections: If a tooth becomes severely damaged by decay or an injury, it can develop an infection. Left untreated, this infection can reach the root of the tooth and form a dental abscess. This is an extremely painful situation that can have life-threatening consequences if the infected material in the abscess enters the bloodstream, where it can cause organ failure, sepsis or even death. An abscess may cause discomfort in the jaws or the ears. If this occurs, then this means that the infection is spreading and you should seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Teeth grinding: Clinically known as bruxism, this is the habitual grinding or clenching of your teeth. Many of the people who grind their teeth never realize they are doing it, because they exhibit the behavior when they are sleeping. Bruxism can cause excessive wear to your teeth and also may result in pain that manifests in the teeth, the jaws, the face or the ears. If you’re suffering from bruxism, the office of Pamela Marzban, DDS, can provide a mouth guard for you to wear while you sleep. This device won’t prevent you from grinding your teeth, but it protects your teeth from additional damage from bruxism.

Comprehensive dental care in Burke, Virginia

Chronic pain can be debilitating, no matter what the cause of the pain might be. No matter what is causing your toothache, or the ear pain that develops corresponding to a toothache, then Pamela Marzban, DDS, can help. She has decades of experience in the dental field and has pursued continuing education since her graduation from the Medical College of Virginia, including the distinction of LVI Fellow from the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, the preeminent institution in North America for postgraduate dental study.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain of any type or you have questions about any of the services that we provide, schedule an appointment at our office today by calling 703-940-1350 or contact us online.

Scroll to Top