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November 26, 2021

Outer Ear Infection and Jaw Pain-What’s the Connection?

Are you experiencing synchronized pain in your jaw and ear, on one side or both sides? You can find out a multitude of reasons behind the pain. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is usually considered the source of pain in the jaw and ear. It is important to understand that the jaw and ear are close, which may be misinterpreted to mean pain in the jaw. The pain, particularly under the ear, behind the jaw bone, can radiate from the temporomandibular joint.

Causes

Several conditions can cause ear and jaw pain, including infections, injuries, and joint problems. Let’s observe some of the common causes of ear and jaw pain:

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1- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can show itself in many symptoms, the most common of which is ear and jaw pain. Headaches, eye discomfort, and even sinus pressure are common side effects for some people. TMJ dysfunction can be triggered by a variety of disorders and circumstances, including

  • grinding the teeth
  • muscle injuries
  • problems with the alignment of the jaw or teeth
  • arthritis

Although TMJ is painful, home treatment often helps manage or eliminate symptoms.

2- Osteoarthritis

It is the most common form of arthritis in the TMJ. Even if it is frequent, it should be handled seriously. Osteoarthritis is caused by the continuous wear and tear of the cartilage that surrounds the joint. It causes joint stiffness, leading to severe discomfort behind the ear and jaw. So, if you’re thinking to yourself, “I have an earache, and my jaw hurts,” osteoarthritis might be the culprit.

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3- Rheumatoid or Psoriatic Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is specifically an autoimmune disease that affects the joints of healthy people, and it can cause joint soreness that spreads throughout the rest of the body at times. Certain factors aggravate rheumatoid arthritis discomfort. Rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, both inflammatory conditions, can cause pain in the jaw, beneath the ear, and in the ear.

4- Migraine

Migraines can be provoked by pain in the jaw and ears near the TMJ joint. Migraine headaches are severe migraines that can occur repeatedly. They can induce light, sound, and scent sensitivities.

5- Grind your Teeth

You feel the muscles of the face, neck, and jaw are strained when you grind your teeth at sleep. Tension in the jaw, ears, and on the front or side of the face might cause pain. Some people may also damage their teeth by grinding or cracking them over time.

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6- Sinusitis

Sinusitis can lead to pain behind the ear and behind the jaw bone. However, this only occurs if you have a history of cold allergies. Your nasal passage gets itchy since it is a virus-borne infection. It’s also possible that a runny nose is involved.

7- Infections of the Ears

Viruses or bacteria are frequently responsible for ear infections. They can also be caused by the accumulation of water or other fluids in and around your ear, causing earache or jaw discomfort, particularly pain under the ear, behind the jaw bone. It’s also a warning if you have a mild to high fever alongside low stamina.

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Treatments

jaw pain in the right or left side near ear treatment is possible with simple home remedies. People can opt for the following strategies:

  • Sleeping with a mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding. You can find out different types of mouthguards for purchase online. 
  • Try to apply heat or ice to the injury, which can ease pain and promote healing. 
  • Massage the jaw gently to reduce muscle tension.
  • Use any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAID), such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Hold the ear down toward the shoulder for 5–10 seconds to stretch the sternocleidomastoid. 
  • Activate the jaw muscles by opening the mouth and jutting out the lower jaw, holding this position for 5–10 seconds. After this, try moving the teeth forward and back and from side to side in a circular motion.
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Conclusion

You do not have to consult a doctor if you suspect you have a viral infection because viral infections usually heal independently. However, if your symptoms persist, you should take them seriously and discuss the symptoms with your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

1- What is the pain in the right side of the face, jaw, and ear?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a facial nerve condition, and it induces sharp, burning pain in the lower face and jaw and around the nose, ears, eyes, and lips.

2- Is ear and jaw pain a symptom of covid-19?

Even if COVID isn’t the reason for your jaw discomfort, there’s a chance there’s a link. There’s no doubting that the epidemic has caused a great deal of stress, which has its own set of consequences. Mental and physical health, particularly dental health, have a strong and well-documented relationship.

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3- How do I know if I have an ear infection or TMJ?

Because TMJ does not create ear drainage, it is a sure infection symptom. Remember that discharge might come from either your outer ear or your Eustachian tubes. If your doctor indicates you don’t have an ear infection, TMJ is more probable.

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