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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1354
Experience:  MBBS, MD.Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 6 year experience in internal medicine
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can an infection from a tooth travel to the head,behind the

Resolved Question:

can an infection from a tooth travel to the head,behind the ear while on anti-biatics ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

To answer your question, it is very likely that the infection from a tooth travels to the ear. This is a very common cause of ear infections. In many people who have dental abscess or even just a simple tooth infection, if it remeains untreated for long can lead to the development of infections in the middle ear. But for this to happen the infection has to spread to the esutachian tube which is the communication of the ear in the throat. Since youre on antibiotics, its unlikely that the infection has spread so far unless the organism is resistant to the antibiotics, in that case it can cause the pain that youre feeling alongwith the fever.


Another reason that youre feeling this kind of pain is that pain from the tooth can be felt in the region around the ear, as referred pain. This is because the two regions are supplied by branches of the same nerve, which is the trigeminal nerve...the reffered pain should be felt around the ear.

Now if you have a sore area behind the ear over the bony surface, you could have mastoditis which is infection of the mastoid process of the skull. This infection can occur secondarily to severe ear infections but not tooth infections. The symptoms of such an infection can be,

  • Pain behind the temporal region
  • Ear swelling
  • Erythematous
  • Ear infection
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Redness of the bone behind the ear
  • Drainage from an ear
  • Ear pain
  • Headache
This type of infection needs early diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications.


So the answer to your question is while it is possible for the infection to travel from the tooth, it is not likely in your case as the fever is mild as you say and you have not mentioned any ear discharge, or dizziness or hearing loss or even ear pain. But without an examination it is difficult to diagnose the cause of the pain that youre feeling, it should be properly evaluated by an ENt specialist to see if you have mastoditis or an ear infection. I hope this answers your question, if it doesnt please let me know

If I have been helpful,

BONUSES and POSITIVE FEEDBACK is always appreciated

Please feel free to ask me follow up questions, also note that this is NOT a substitute for a visit to the doctor.

Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1354
Experience: MBBS, MD.Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 6 year experience in internal medicine
Dr. Muneeb Ali and 7 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can it worsen overnight ? soreness rite below my right earlob.

i've been on anti-biotics 7 days and 4 days from the root canal.

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 4 years ago.
Well it seems like from what you describe, there is an infection in the region of your ear, and yes it can worsen over time if the antibiotics prescribed are not effective. Some organism develop resistance to the antibiotics and thus need another antibiotic for treatment.

If there is swelling and redness plus the are is tender to touch, then you definitely have an infection in that region.

I suggest that you contact your doctor if this gets worse over time, maybe all you need is a change of antibiotics and this problem will resolve. In the meantime, you can take anti inflammatory medication like advil, motrin or even naproxen to help with the soreness.

I hope this answers your question

If I have been helpful,

BONUSES and POSITIVE FEEDBACK is always appreciated

Please feel free to ask me follow up questions, also note that this is NOT a substitute for a visit to the doctor.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Finally;i shouldn't be concerned that it travels to the brain ?

.At what point do i consider going to the hospital as a an "emergency"

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 4 years ago.
At the moment i think you shouldnt be worried about this infection travelling to the brain, if an infection travels to the brain it will cause meningitis or even a brain abscess. the warning signs or symptoms of such an infection can be,

Heeadache
High Fever
Vomiting
Photophobia
Neck pain and Stiffness
Seizures
Weakness on one side of the body (in case of absecess)
Blurring of vision
Drowsiness, disorientation
Loss of consciousness

all the symptoms are indicative of a brain infection. Now you should go to the ER if you have any of these symptoms or high fever with headache and vomiting. Infection to the brain travels from either the middle ear cavity or from the mastoid bone which is present just behind the ear. Right now i believe you can adopt a wait and see approach until you see an ENt specialist, however if you develop any of the above or generally feel woirse you should immediately go to the ER.

I hope this answers the query you had

If I have been helpful,

BONUSES and POSITIVE FEEDBACK is always appreciated

Please feel free to ask me follow up questions, also note that this is NOT a substitute for a visit to the doctor.

Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1354
Experience: MBBS, MD.Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 6 year experience in internal medicine
Dr. Muneeb Ali and 7 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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