The crown came off, now the tooth is hurting

I have a tooth that had a root canal the cap came off, been off for a few weeks, now i have pain around the gum and in the stump or whatever you call it, now have a noise in my ear , could the tooth be causing that?
- Dolores from Texas

Dolores,
Yes, your tooth could definitely be causing the noise in your ear, or pain in your ear. It sounds to me like a serious situation you have. The hinge to your jaw joint is about an inch from your ear, and your back teeth aren’t much further, so problems with your teeth and jaws can be manifest sometimes as pain in the ear or ringing in the ear.

When a tooth is prepared for a crown (you’re calling it a cap – it’s the same thing), much or even all of the enamel is removed. And a root canal treatment requires the total cleaning out of the inside of the tooth. This exposes the soft dentin of the tooth, and it’s important for the continued health of your tooth that this dentin be covered and protected. When your crown came off, that subjected this dentin to decay bacteria, and exposed dentin decays very rapidly. In addition, the root canal filling inside the tooth probably became exposed to oral fluids, which could cause it to loosen and the tooth to become re-infected.

Now the sensations in your ear may or may not be caused by problems with this tooth. My advice would be to get to a dentist as soon as possible and see if it is still possible to save this tooth. It may be possible. Generally, my advice would be that if you have a crown on a tooth that comes off, to get it placed back on the tooth within a couple of days. Not only is there the risk of decay but this tooth and the teeth around it will drift, disrupting your bite, and making it impossible to recement this crown, after more than a couple of days.

This blog is sponsored by Wellington, FL dentist Dr. Sam Sadati