I have a toothache, after my crown came off.

One of my teeth had a root canal and the crown fell off. Now I’m dealing with this toothache that won’t go away and I feel pain around my gum. I have also noticed this strange noise in my ear. Do you think it could be related?

- Stacey from Washington

Stacey,

The pain and noise in your ear may be related. From what you described, I would say you have an urgent situation that you should seek care for immediately. The way your jaw is built, there is a hinge in the joint near your ear. So if you have a problem with a back tooth, it is quite possible that the ringing in your ear may be linked to it.

When a dentist prepared the crown after the root canal treatment, there was a lot of enamel that was taken off. For a root canal treatment to be successful, the entire inside of the tooth needs to be cleaned out. During this process, the dentin of the tooth can become exposed. It is very important that the dentin be protected so you don’t have continuing problems. So, it is possible that when the crown fell off, the dentin of your tooth may have been re-exposed. Bacteria could be causing decay, thus giving you pain. It is also a possibility that the inside of the tooth may have been exposed to bacteria and fluids from your  mouth. This may mean that the tooth could be infected again.

The issues with your ear may or may not be related to all of this. You need to get into a dentist as soon as possible, so the dentist has the best chance at saving the tooth. Generally speaking, if a crown or a tooth comes off it would be good to get into an office within a few days if possible. The decay can adversely affect the tooth very quickly. Also, the surrounding teeth may drift out of place, causing problems with your bite. If you put it off longer than a couple days, the dentist may also run into issues with re-cementing the crown.

This post is sponsored by Chicago cosmetic dentist Glen Dental Center.

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