Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Ear Pain? How To Stop It

a female student with head and side jaw ache holding pen

If you’ve ever experienced ear pain, you know how uncomfortable and distracting it can be. But did you know that your wisdom teeth could be the culprit? 

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to emerge in the back of your mouth, typically appearing in your late teens or early twenties. While not everyone experiences problems with their wisdom teeth, they can cause a range of issues, including ear pain.

Quick answer to can wisdom teeth cause ear pain? Yes, wisdom teeth can definitely cause ear pain. They are located furthest back in the jaw, behind the last premolars on both sides of the upper and lower jaw.

How can wisdom teeth cause ear pain

Impacted wisdom teeth

When wisdom teeth are impacted or crooked, the roots and crown can press against nearby nerves and blood vessels. This can irritate the trigeminal nerve that supplies sensation to both your teeth and ears, causing referred ear pain.


Infections from wisdom teeth, like pericoronitis or abscesses, can spread to nearby areas like the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and inner ear. This results in ear pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and sometimes loss of hearing.

TMJ dysfunction

The third molars (wisdom teeth) tend to erupt later in life and at a sharper horizontal angle. This can put strain on the TMJ and surrounding muscles, leading to TMJ dysfunction and associated ear pain and discomfort.


Swelling and inflammation from wisdom teeth problems can put pressure on certain nerves and blood vessels, even if there is no infection initially. This leads to referred ear pain, usually in both ears.

can wisdom teeth cause ear pain

Diagnosis and treatment

Ignoring the pain may only make it worse, so it’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment from a dental professional. A dentist or oral surgeon can help you get to the root of the problem and recommend the best course of action to alleviate your discomfort.

Diagnosis of ear pain related to wisdom teeth can involve a thorough examination of your mouth and jaw, as well as imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans. These tests can provide a detailed view of your wisdom teeth and help identify any issues that may be causing your ear pain.

Treatment for ear pain related to wisdom teeth can vary depending on the cause and severity of the pain. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be sufficient to manage the pain. However, if the pain is severe or persistent, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend antibiotics to treat any infection or inflammation.

In more severe cases, surgical removal of the wisdom teeth may be necessary to alleviate ear pain related to impaction or other issues. While the thought of oral surgery may sound daunting, wisdom teeth extraction is a common and routine procedure that is typically performed under local or general anesthesia.

After the procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will provide instructions for post-operative care, including pain management and proper oral hygiene.



Studies shows, ear pain related to wisdom teeth is a common issue that can cause discomfort and distraction for many people. While not everyone experiences problems with their wisdom teeth, those who do may experience a range of symptoms, including ear pain, jaw pain, and pressure in the mouth.

By maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking regular dental check-ups, you can help prevent ear pain related to wisdom teeth and other dental issues. If you’re experiencing ear pain or other symptoms related to your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dental professional for help.