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Jaw (TMJ?) pain - ear pain
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Jaw (TMJ?) pain - ear pain

For the past 3 weeks, I have had pain when chewing or biting down in my right ear and in that part of my jaw just below the temple. My dentist and orthodontist have said my jaw is disaligned in the past (I look normal though), but I have never had pain. My back molars do not touch when I bite, and my front teeth bite right together with no overbite at all. However, the pain has just now come and seems worse when I sleep on my face funny. Sometimes it is so bad that it is difficult to eat. When I grab the left side of my jaw and slide it right, the right side/TMJ hurts in the same way as it does when i bite down. Pushing the jaw the other way produces no pain.

I am concerned because I also have a funny "feeling" in my right ear that has accompanied this jaw pain. My ear canal feels "cool" and like there is liquid or wax in it, but when I put my finger in it, there is nothing. Also, sometimes I get a werid and sudden throbbing on the inside of my ear drum that almost feels like I have water in it. My hearing in that ear is not affected.

Besides the pain that isn't going away, I'm worried that it may be being caused by a tumor or something other than standard TMJ disorder. Is this possible or likely concerning my symptoms? I am going to an ENT next week, but was hoping you could provide me some perspective about TMJ disorder and if you think that that's what's causing my problems. Thank you
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The symtoms (symptoms) that you describe certainly have seem to be eminating from the TMJ area. TMJ disfunction is a broad term with many different causes. Without a doubt I believe you should be seen by a dentist that specializes in TMJ disease. I would get a referral from your dentist or call the local dental society. If you can not find someone then see if there is a dental school in your area with a TMJ clinic.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, this is the same ear I typically talk on my cellular phone with. I know research has been conflicting in the past, but do you have an opinion on this?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had a similar symptom. First I would get get an occasional feeling of cool liquid in my year but nothing is there. About a month later, my jaw on the same side as the "cool" ear got real sore. It has been a month or so now, with the jaw still sore, and the ear getting those cool liquid feelings now on a regular almost constant basis. Hmm... TMJ? I have some rhumatoid arthritis in my family. Maybe I am disintegrating. Just my luck. It had me a little worried until I saw your post and heard about TMJ. At least it is not my head exploding.
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