If you have been experiencing tinnitus at the same time as a dental abscess, the two conditions are probably related. You see, your throat, nose, and ears are interconnected. They share a space and work in unison, helping you breathe, smell and hear. However, because of this intimate connection, when one system fails due to infection, the rest may suffer too.
The Infection Can Spread
Dental abscesses can spread to other areas, causing sinus and ear infections. This is because the pus, which is a poisonous collection of waste material, white cells and dead bacteria, causes the bone and surrounding tissues to erode. In time, an untreated abscess will penetrate into the sinus cavity or ear canal.
It is also possible for inflammation of the mouth and throat to spread to the ear. When the ear canal is inflamed, your hearing is affected, causing you to suffer from tinnitus, a constant ringing in your ear.
TMD Could be to Blame
If you currently suffer from jaw problems, such as aches, headaches, shooting pains, jaw stiffness or popping noises, you are likely suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). Since your jaw joints and muscles are already stressed, a nearby abscess could worsen the situation by spreading the infection to the jaw muscle.
Infection of the jaw muscles, which are located close to the ear, causes tinnitus when the infection spreads to the ear. Your dentist can help you overcome TMD by giving you a mouth guard to wear, one that will help to position your jaw correctly.
Stress is a Factor
Stress causes tinnitus too. What is one of the most frequent triggers of stress? Pain. A dental abscess can cause considerable pain if left untreated. As the infection spreads, the pain increases. A study conducted in Egypt found that 75% of 100 participants stated that their stress levels were high. This clearly shows that stress contributes to tinnitus.
Along with the negative effect on your nose and throat, which stresses the body, an abscess can be very painful. This, in turn, increases your stress levels and leads to tinnitus.
Get Treatment ASAP
If you have tinnitus and suspect it is caused by a dental abscess, then you need antibiotics to kill the infection before it can spread further. You also need a skilled emergency dentist to perform a root canal on the tooth to make sure the infection is fully gone. If enough of the tooth remains, you can then opt for a crown to seal the tooth and give you back your ability to chew on it.