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FAQ:  Ear Pain Symptom - Noise



Ear Pain Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Tooth and Ear Pain? Three months ago I had a filling on a back bottom tooth.

When the dentist did the filling, he said that he hit "something" and it would be sore, maybe sensitive. For 1 week, things were fine. Then I started having pain constantly.

After a couple weeks, I went back but there were no problems. One month later, and still taking Motrin for the pain, I ended up with a swollen upper jaw and ear. Went to the dentist, he didn't find anything. Went to the doctor and had an outer ear infection.

Took Cipro for 5 days and ended up with an absess in my ear. Continued the Cipro for 5 more days. Ear has cleared up but teeth and jaw are still sore. Could the deep filling have led to an infection? ... Visitor from WA

Answer:
My guess is that the dentist hit the nerve of the tooth while doing the filling.

Sometimes this will heal and be no problem. Other times, bacteria gets into the nerve of the tooth. This bacteria will produce gas and the gas has nowhere to go. This can cause sensitivity to cold, pain on biting and severe pain in the tooth that may feel like a heartbeat.

Antibiotics may help the pain, but this will persist until you have a root canal to remove the nerve tissue and the bacteria. I have no idea of whether the ear problems are related to the tooth problems. I recommend seeing an endodontist (root canal specialist) for an evaluation.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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