Wisdom tooth infections & ear infections

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Wisdom tooth infections & ear infections
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that start to erupt in the late teens and early adulthood. They can cause moderate to severe tooth and jaw pain. (cleaning teeth image by pavel siamionov from Fotolia.com)

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, which appear in teens and adults. Most people experience pain and discomfort as their wisdom teeth grow due to the lack of room inside their mouths. Sometimes, the appearance of wisdom teeth can cause other heath problems, such as ear infections, due to an infection in the wisdom tooth.

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Earache and Toothache

Toothaches can be mild to severe aching or throbbing on one or both sides of the upper and/or lower jaw. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes radiate up to the ear, causing earaches. Conversely, some earaches radiate to the jaw or tooth area, causing toothaches. This occurs because of the proximity of the ears to the jaws and teeth. Depending on the location of the pain, the nerves may misinterpret the location of the pain, sending signals to both the tooth and ear nerves.

Issues With Wisdom Teeth

Tooth pain associated with wisdom teeth is a common affliction for adults. The wisdom teeth are located at the very back of the jaw, and can cause moderate to severe pain that radiates up the jaw to the ears. Wisdom teeth can cause dental and health issues such as impaction, abscesses and wrapping around nerves and jaw line, and most dentists suggest removing wisdom teeth before they can cause serious problems.

Infections in the Mouth and Ears

The human mouth is teeming with bacteria that are both harmful and helpful. Cuts, sores, abscesses and other injuries in the mouth can easily cause an infection. If left untreated, an infection in the mouth can spread to other areas of the head, including the sinuses and the ears. It is sometimes hard to know if an ear infection is caused by an infection of the mouth or teeth, but people who have reoccurring ear infections that coincide with tooth pain, like wisdom tooth eruption, should consult a dentist.

Wisdom Tooth Infection

Wisdom teeth can negatively affect the jaw and tooth line, necessitating removal. A wisdom tooth that impacts another molar or breaks can expose the mouth and jaw line to infection. Wisdom tooth extraction is a major dental surgery, especially in the case of impaction or breakage, and infection can set in after the surgery. Infections associated with wisdom teeth and wisdom tooth extraction can spread to the ears if not treated.

Avoiding Infection

To avoid infections in the mouth associated with wisdom teeth and wisdom tooth extraction, it is important to practice good dental hygiene. Since the jaw, sinuses and ears are close together, infections in one area can affect others. Because mouths are full of bacteria, infections originating from the jaw or teeth are not uncommon. Daily tooth brushing and flossing can help keep the teeth and gums healthy, warding off gingivitis and other dental issues that can quickly lead to infections. Following dental instructions after a wisdom tooth extraction, such as food modification, daily rinsing with warm salt water and tooth brushing, can help minimise the risk of an infection.

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