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Salivary Gland Stone or Toothache?

I had a mild earache, but wanted to deal with a dental issue first. I had a mercury filling replaced with a composite filling on a back tooth. Everything was okay for a bit. Now I have pain radiating to my ear again. I went to see my doctor. He said my ear is completely healthy and suspects I have a salivary gland stone. I am tending to think it is a toothache. I don’t want to seek the wrong treatment. Is one more likely than the other?


Dear Carol,

The image of a woman holding her jaw in pain.
I think that it being a toothache makes more sense than a salivary gland stone. There can be build ups of calcification in your salivary glands, but that pain does not radiate to your ear. It lends itself more to something being wrong with the tooth.

If you combine that symptom along with having recently had a filling replaced, there is even more reason to lean toward a toothache. It could be simply a matter of your dentist being new to composite fillings and not knowing that procedure as well as the older one. It could be that decay was overlooked and you are now developing a tooth infection and you need a root canal treatment.

I would get this seen by a dentist sooner rather than later. You do not want this to turn into a dental emergency. The sooner things are attended to, the easier the treatment. Because the treatment is less invasive, then the cost of the treatment will be less expensive as well, which is a win-win.

This blog is brought to you by San Antonio Endodontist Dr. Scott Janse.