Risk Factors For A Serious Diagnosis In Patients With Otalgia
There are some characteristics that make a serious diagnosis more likely in patients with otalgia. Treatment is most effective when there is minimal delay after diagnosis. Patients who are 50 years or older, have coronary artery disease, have diabetes, or are immunocompromised are at higher risk. In addition, patients who smoke, drink alcohol, or lose weight unintentionally should undergo more scrutiny. Consumption of 50 g or more of alcohol per day increases the risk of head, neck, and esophageal cancers by two to three times compared with nondrinkers smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk compared with alcohol use alone.21 In addition, unilateral hearing loss warrants further investigation if an obvious cause is not apparent.5
Data Sources: A PubMed search for evaluation and diagnosis of ear pain or otogenic otalgia or primary otalgia or secondary otalgia or otalgia was performed. The search was further limited by English only, human studies, and over the past five years. In addition to this search, we used articles from the reference list of the 2008 AFP article on ear pain,5 as well as reference lists of articles selected from our PubMed search. Search dates: July 27, 2016, and April 10, 2017.
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Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
Generally, the pain of a tooth infection will send you to the dentist pretty quick, but not always. There are some other signs of a dental abscess you may notice, as well.
- Sometimes, the tooth will become dark because the necrotic pulp from inside the tooth has leaked out into the porous layer of the tooth. You may not have any pain at all in this case.
- You may only notice pain when you eat or if you press down on the tooth, but it may not bother you at other times. This happens when the infection has spread into the bum and bone. In these cases, the pain will eventually increase to the point where the throbbing and pulsing are so severe, they cant be relieved with medication.
- You may notice a small bump on the gum, near the base of the infected tooth, that looks like a puss-filled pimple. This is usually accompanied by a foul odor or taste in the mouth.
- Swollen lymph nodes or swelling of the face and jaw signal a tooth infection. The swelling may cause pain in your jaw, as well. Sometimes, you will develop a fever as well.
You should also be aware that a tooth infection can sometimes have no visible or physical symptoms. This happens when the nerve has become so damaged, it no longer responds to stimuli, so it doesnt cause pain. In this case, the dental infection may not be detected until you have a dental x-ray.
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What Causes A Neck Abscess
A neck abscess occurs during or just after a bacterial or viral infection in the head or neck such as a cold, tonsillitis, sinus infection, or otitis media . As an infection worsens, it can spread down into the deep tissue spaces in the neck or behind the throat. Pus collects and builds up in these spaces forming a mass. Sometimes, a neck abscess occurs following an inflammation or infection of a congenital neck mass such as a branchial cyst or thyroglossal duct cyst.
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The Link Between Oral Health And Hearing Loss
Learning that your hearing health is excellent may make you smile, but did you know that your oral health can actually influence your ability to hear? Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by pathogenic bacteria, which can enter the bloodstream and threaten a persons overall health. In fact, gum disease may lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues . Harmful bacteria that originate in your mouth can also inflame and narrow the arteries and blood vessels located in your ears and brain, which are crucial to your hearing health. Once you understand the link between oral health and hearing loss, we hope you wont ever forget to brush, floss, or visit your dentist.
Prevention Of Gum Abscess
To prevent gum abscess, you should:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, especially before sleep. Also, clean between your teeth with dental floss at least once a day.
- Eat a healthy diet: eat a diet that contains a variety of foods to keep your gums healthy, and limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly: schedule an appointment with your dentist at least once every six months for professional cleaning. Also, your dentist can diagnose and treat oral problems early to prevent complications.
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What To Do If You Suspect You Have A Tooth Infection
If you suspect you have a tooth infection, you should see a dentist right away for treatment. Dental infections dont usually go away on their own, and they can spread to other parts of the body. Left untreated, they can lead to life-threatening infections in the heart or brain. If you have a fever accompanied by swelling of the face or jaw, the situation could be dire, and you should go to the emergency room if you cant see your dentist right away.
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Can Sinus Infections Cause Neck Pain And Stiffness
A sinus infection may not affect all the sinus chambers. Some sinus infections create pain around the eye sockets, while infections in other chambers can cause sinus neck pain. Sinus pain from a sinus infection is typically worse in the morning, making it difficult for people to begin their day.
Most neck pain from a sinus infection is caused by inflammation or an infection of the sinus cavities behind the eyes. Its important to monitor these illnesses, as an infection in this particular area is more likely to spread to the brain.
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Actions For Gum Infection Symptoms
Once these symptoms appear, a visit to the dentist or medical health care provider is required immediately to prevent further damage. Once visited, the following procedures are taken to treat gum infection:
The dentist will inquire about any underlying circumstances that could be related to the gum infection symptoms such as medical conditions, smoking, or other risk factors. The dentist will then examine the gums to analyze the actual infection. A ruler called a dental probe is then used to measure any pockets between the teeth and gums to determine if there are any unhealthy gaps. A gap between 1 and 3 millimeters between the teeth is considered healthy. An x-ray may be necessary at times, and an individual may be referred to a periodontist in cases of severe infection.
Once an infection is determined, there are various treatments used to subdue the infections. These treatments include:
- A deep cleaning involving root planing and scaling
- Medications such as a prescription mouth rinse and an antibiotic gel
- Surgical treatments.
There are also homeopathic treatments such as taking active measures to reduce stress, regularly rinsing the mouth with a sea salt and warm water solution, placing tea bags on the gums, regularly drinking cranberry juice, and increasing vitamin intake with supplements.
Preventative measures for gum infection include brushing teeth after meals, flossing nightly and using mouthwash, and understanding the heightened risk for gum infection.
Root Canal Infections And Ear Pain
Inside of each tooth is a hollow chamber that contains a substance known as dental. If bacteria accesses the dental pulp , it can cause a painful infection of the tooth. When it’s one of the molars that has been infected, again, the pain can radiate to the ear area.
The best remedy in these situations is root canal therapy, which removes the infected pulp and saves the tooth from being extracted. Patients may also notice ear pain as a sign of an unsuccessful root canal procedure.
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So Yes Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Ear Pain But What About Sore Throat
If the problem causing the tooth is not resolved quickly, bacteria can accumulate in this area. This is because it can be difficult to reach the brush in this way or it can be very painful to brush well and floss. In that case, you can get an infection in this area. In that case, symptoms such as sore throat, fever or swollen lymph nodes may occur.
Ear And Jaw Pain: Other Conditions
Jaw and ear pain may happen together since the two parts are not far from each other. Additionally, you may experience ear and jaw pain because of referred pain. This occurs when a piece of your body feels pain, although the pain source is found elsewhere.
Below are some common causes of jaw and ear pain.
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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder And Ear Pain
Many adults experience ear pain as a result of a temporomandibular joint disorder . As noted, the temporomandibular joint is located close to the ear canalit acts as a hinge where the lower and upper jaws meet. This joint controls the chewing/biting motion when eating food.
People with TMD often have at least one predisposing factor . When the teeth dont fit together, biting can cause stress on the jaw joint due to the uneven pressure being applied to the joint spaces.
In addition to the excess pressure on the jaw, TMJ pain is also defined as constant and dull or sharp and severe pain along the jawline and surrounding areas of the face and neck. The pain may progressively worsen with everyday chewing and swallowing.
The disturbance to the ear region may create a popping or clicking sound, as well as limit your ability to widen the jaw when opening your mouth.
All of these contributors to TMJ syndrome may cause one or more of the following issues:
- Pain of the joint, known as myofascial pain
- Dislocated or damaged jaw joint
- Arthritis of the jaw
Dentists dont know exactly what causes TMD, but it could arise from problems with the jaw muscles, whiplash or even bruxism , arthritis, or stress.
Dealing With A Tooth Infection In Stratford Ct
Little toothaches turn into big problems! It is not uncommon for patients to ignore the start of dental discomfort in hopes that it will resolve on its own. Unfortunately, a slight sensitivity will eventually turn into an unrelenting pain that isnt always easily relieved without professional dental treatment. If an infection is the source of a toothache, it may spread to nearby organs, even the brain, turning an easily treatable tooth issue into a major health concern. Although everyone knows when they have a toothache, there are some symptoms that patients might not realize are caused by a tooth.
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Can An Infected Tooth Affect Your Heart Health
What puts you at risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular problems? For most people, the risk factors that typically come to mind are a poor diet, a lack of exercise, excess body weight, and excessive alcohol consumption. While these are all definite risk factors, most people dont realize that having an infected tooth or poor oral hygiene can also increase your chances of problems like heart attacks or heart disease. While its still not exactly known how your heart and oral health are related, theres a definite correlation.
Research points to poor dental health as a potential risk factor for heart disease. Its been shown that people with gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and tooth infection have a higher incidence of cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke. There are a few theories about why this happens. When you have an infection in your tooth or gums, the bacteria from the infection can enter your bloodstream and travel elsewhere in your body. This bacteria can cause inflammation in your blood vessels and blood clots. Other research suggests that its the bodys immune response to the bacteria that can potentially damage your blood vessels or heart. Evidence of oral bacteria has been found throughout the body, which means that the health of your mouth has a clear effect on your overall health.
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Could It Be A Damaged Tooth
Your teeth come under attack every time you eat. Bacteria cling to them until you brush them away. They produce acid, which makes the holes in your enamel called cavities.
Or you could have a crack in a tooth that’s exposed the sensitive inner layers. Maybe you bit down on a cherry pit or were hit in the face during softball.
A cavity or a crack can cause sharp pain and make your mouth sensitive when you bite down. The longer the pain lingers, the more serious the damage is likely to be.
If it’s deep enough, a cavity or crack can let bacteria into the inner layer, called pulp, of your tooth. The pulp can become infected, and that can lead to a buildup of pus called an abscess. The infection can spread to tissue and bone, too.
Diagnosis Of Gum Abscess
If you have persistent pain, bad taste in your mouth, or swollen gum, visit your dentist as soon as possible and dont ignore these signs and symptoms. Your dentist will examine the affected area and take an x-ray.
- Palpation test: your dentist will use one hand to identify the location of abscess which may tender to palpation.
- Percussion test: your dentist will use an instrument such as a mirror handle to tap on teeth to identify the affected tooth. A tooth with a periapical abscess will be sensitive to vertical percussion . A tooth with a periodontal abscess will be more sensitive to horizontal percussion .
- Sensitivity test: this test is performed to determine whether the tooth is vital or not. The periapical abscess is usually associated with a non-vital tooth while the periodontal abscess is usually associated with a vital tooth.
- X-ray: your dentist will use X-ray to check for periodontal disease or infection at the root tip .
- CT scan: if the infection has spread to other parts of the body, your dentist may order a CT scan.
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Who To See About It
If youre experiencing pain in your ear or jaw or symptoms you believe may be related to TMD, its a good idea to check in with a professional for their diagnosis and treatment recommendations. This is especially true for TMD disorders as they can present in various ways, making them difficult to diagnose accurately.
So, who exactly should you schedule a visit with? It could be a good idea to start with your primary care provider , as theyre often most familiar with your health. Speaking with your dental professional is also an excellent option as they have specialized knowledge and training in TMD and are often familiar with your health history.
Either your medical or dental professional may refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment, such as a maxillofacial surgeon or physical therapist.
Serious Pain After A Root Canal Is Not Normal Get Help
If you notice serious pain and discomfort near your ear for more than a few days after your root canal, something has gone wrong with your treatment. Get in touch with an experienced dentist like Dr. Matthew Annese right away. We offer same-day emergency appointments in Leominster, Pepperhill, Harvard and the surrounding areas. Give us a call at 425-9088 to let us know youâre coming in, or stop by our office at 228 Great Road, Shirley, MA 01464.
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Ear Pain: Diagnosing Common And Uncommon Causes
JOHN SCOTT EARWOOD, MD TYLER SHERROD ROGERS, MD AND NICHOLAS ALAN RATHJEN, DO, Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia
Am Fam Physician. 2018 Jan 1 97:20-27.
Patient information: A symptom checker on this topic is available at .
Patients with otalgia commonly present to their primary care physician. Pain that originates from the ear is known as primary otalgia, whereas pain that originates outside the ear is secondary otalgia. A comprehensive history and physical examination are essential to determine the etiology of primary or secondary otalgia.
Primary otalgia is more common in children, whereas secondary otalgia is more common in adults.1,2 The etiology of primary otalgia, which is usually identified on examination of the ear, is typically otitis externa or otitis media.3 The etiology of secondary otalgia is more complex because the nerves innervating the ear have a shared distribution to include the head, neck, chest, and abdomen2,4. The ear is innervated by several sensory nerves. The auricle is affected by cranial nerves V, VII, X, C2, and C3 the external auditory meatus and canal by cranial nerves V, VII, and X the tympanic membrane by cranial nerves VII, IX, and X and the middle ear by cranial nerves V, VII, and IX. Irritation of any portion of these nerves can result in otalgia.
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