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What’s The Correlation Between Ear Pain And A Root Canal?

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If you’ve ever had pain in the back of your tooth that seems to stretch into your ear, you may need a root canal procedure. There’s a strong correlation between ear pain and the need for a root canal because our ears and mouth are so closely connected. There is a good chance that the source of the earache you’re experiencing is actually a toothache. It’s just that the pain is harshly radiating to nearby regions.

What’s The Correlation Between Ear Pain And A Root Canal?

What causes this pain?

When a tooth becomes badly damaged it begins to hurt. The pain can be so great that it circulates to areas nearby which is why it feels like an earache when in fact, it’s a toothache. There are different types of toothaches but if you are feeling pain radiating in your ear then it could be caused by a cavity, crack in the tooth, trauma to the area or repeated unnecessary dental treatment. A root canal will fix these issues. This is a routine procedure that involves removing the damaged part of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it before filling and sealing it. The procedure is called a root canal because the inner canals of the tooth’s root are being fixed.

What happens during a root canal?

During the root canal treatment procedure, your dentist will take X-rays to find the source of the problem. Then local anesthesia will be administered to the infected area to ensure your comfort. Then a pulpectomy is performed. This is when an opening is made on the damaged tooth and the pulp (the inside of the tooth) is removed. When your teeth become infected from the inside it is because the pulp is diseased or damaged. Once the damaged pulp is removed, the area will be cleaned and roots that are affected will be filled and sealed.

How to control ear pain before and after a root canal.

Some people report ear pain after undergoing a root canal treatment procedure. This should only be a cause for concern if the pain is severe or lasts for weeks. You can ask your dentist which painkillers are recommended to treat ear pain before and after a root canal, but generally, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will work. Do not take any prescription painkillers that were not prescribed by your dentist or physician.

A root canal is no more painful than having a filling done. If you are experiencing any pain in your teeth, jaw, ear or even head, visit your dentist. You could be in need of a root canal treatment procedure.


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Dr. Tali Waksman
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tali Waksman went on to work as the only dentist on a Native reserve, serving 2000 people after completing a residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. With a warm and friendly personality and close attention to detail, she treats every patient like family.