Most people know that they need to schedule a visit to their dentist as soon as they feel tooth pain. However, you might be surprised to learn that the cause of a toothache is not always cavities or tooth damage.

Pain in your tooth can sometimes be caused by a health condition occurring in a different part of your body. If you are noticing pain in one of your teeth, it may be a symptom of the following health issues.

Ear Infection

An ear infection can occur whenever bacteria cause inflammation in any part of the ear. These sorts of infection cause swelling throughout the ears, nose, and throat, and all the buildup of pressure can make the teeth ache. You might have an ear infection if you have pain in your teeth or ears along with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Ear pain
  • Nausea
  • Impaired hearing
  • Difficulty balancing

In most cases an ear infection will likely clear up on its own or with the help of an antibiotic prescription from the doctor. However, prolonged tooth pain should be examined by a professional dentist to ensure that there aren’t any other hidden issues affecting the tooth.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

Commonly called TMJ, this is a disorder that makes it difficult for the joint of the jaw to move properly. It often results in pain while you move your jaw or chew, and many patients make the mistake of thinking it is a tooth problem. Signs of TMJ can include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Ear pain
  • Face pain
  • Clicking noises in the jaw
  • Limited motion while opening or closing the jaw

TMJ is a complicated condition. Sometimes it may be caused by an injury to the jaw or teeth grinding, but it may also be due to genetics, arthritis, or connective tissue diseases. As such, there are many different treatment options you could explore. There are solutions available such as custom night guards created to prevent grinding in your sleep.

If you’re in the Manhattan NYC area, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, who are experts at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder.

Head Trauma

Any sort of head injury is obviously very serious because it can cause damage to the brain and the delicate structures of the face. Following an injury to the head, you may notice that your teeth are beginning to hurt. Why is this?

Head trauma can cause pain in the mouth even when there is no detectable injury. This can be due to an injury to the nerves in the head. Head injuries should not be taken lightly and you should seek a professional opinion.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess occurs when a pocket of bacteria is present inside the gums, bone, or teeth. Due to the inflammation build-up in the area, you may notice these issues occurring:

  • Throbbing pain around a tooth or gum
  • Pain spreading from sore gums to the neck, jaw, or ear
  • Swollen, reddened gums
  • Unusually bad breath
  • Swelling and redness in the face.

This type of infection can spread and can cause high fevers and infections throughout the body, so it is important to get them treated as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you will need treatment from a professional dentist, not a general physician to fix this issue. If you believe you have a dental abscess, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

As you can see, a toothache can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. The only way to find out the true cause of your tooth pain is by visiting a dentist.

At our NYC dentist office, we can treat common reasons for dental pain while ruling out the possibility of more serious health problems. With our friendly staff, boutique environment, and lack of wait times, we make a dentist trip into a convenient and comforting experience.

Click here to schedule an appointment.

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