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Sharp pain around the jaw after alcohol consumption

For about 2 years now, I have noticed that after a glass of wine I experience a sharp pain around my jaw. I've had this sensation before whenever I eat a citris or sour fruit, however, lately after consuming any alcohol such as beer, wine, and margaritas, etc., I get this sharp, excruciating pain after just one glass. It hurts so badly, especially if I drink water. The moment the H2O hits the jaw part of my inner mouth, a burning sensation immediately follows. Now, here's the strange part, if I drink another glass of alcohol the pain will subside instantly. The pain will still return but will not be as painful as the prior time. I have read about Lymphoma, and I cannot say that I experience this pain any where else in my body, and I don't seem to experience any of the other symptoms. I'd appreciate any input in helping me come up with a solution for this. Someone told me that the solution was to either drink plenty or nothing at all in order to avoid this... ha ha. Anyway, one more thing... I don't think I have this problem with mixed drinks containing sodas and liquor.
86 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi MCurley,

Have you ever received a response about your symptom after consuming alcoholic beverages?  I've had the same problem for, as far as I believe, a little over a year 1/2.  No one else that I know has the same problem.  I don't drink much so I can't really say wether it gets better if I drink more, just as in your case.  At first, I thought in only happened with wine, but it does with any alcoholic beverage.  Know anything else about this?
I have been reading everyone's symptoms I too suffer from any alcohol I tried the vitamin c it helps for a bit but the pain even hour later is so bad?? Not sure what to do next...
Avatar universal
I have it too, and I just read that someone else has it while eating yogurt, but everyone else online (and yes there are many) have said alcohol (one in mouthwash) triggers it in them.  I think it may be an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the sulfidies or yeast (also in yogurt) in the fermenting process.  I seem to do worse with lower grain (cheaper) alcohol and better with the more filtered stuff.  I plan on doing more research but as I have a food allergy already (tree nuts) I think that this may be the key.  Hope it helps!
1081992 tn?1389907237
hi there, sunny. If you don't mind my saying, yogurt is made with bacteria (mainly various lactobacillus types).

by cheaper alcohol, do you mean wines and spirits? Besides the sulfites (and sulfates) that you mention, you might want to look also at the congeners in fermented beverages. Vodka (of any price) should have the least amount of those.

Avatar universal
I have had pain in my jaw for about 20 years. It only occures when I eat things that contain some sort of yeast, etc. So I get the sharp pain when I drink beer (which I do not anymore), wine, eat very fresh breads, even skins of grapes. I don't like yogart, so I don't eat it. If I drink other types of alcohal like votka, schnops, etc. I have know problem.

Most of the time I can get away with a glass or two of wine. I learned over the years how to control it. And will only have the pain about twice a year now.
Avatar universal
This problem is not as uncommon as you think. I've just been researching this condition as from time to time I experience sharp pain just below my jaw running down from my ears when drinking cheap wine. The pain usually starts during the first glass, doesn't last long (10 minutes or so) and I can usually carry on drinking the same glass without the pain returning. Odd!
At any rate, from what I can gather through my research, it's caused by the sulfides (preservative 220 - 228) in wine & beer and is a slight allergic reaction. Solution - don't drink cheap wine! ;o)
Avatar universal
I have a similar sharp pain behind my jaw/below my ear after drinking. Eating one pill of Vitamin C before drinking removes the symptom completely.
1081992 tn?1389907237
that's interesting, because the primary breakdown product of alcohol is acetaldehyde, and vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that quenches acetaldehyde
Avatar universal
I also have this pain, mostly when I drink wine.  It's so weird, like a burning sensation right under my ears and behind my jaw, then a very painful sharp burn and then it disappears all in about 5-10 minutes. I have noticed it only when I drink wine or sweet/sour cocktails such as margaritas.  I have no idea what it is, but trying to research the causes.
Avatar universal
I have had this situation for years.  Sometimes the pain becomes so bad that it is just on the borderline of completely intolerable.  It feels like it is shooting from below my bottom wisdom teeth down my jaw and below my ears.

It is most consistent with beer and wine.  Happens occasionally but far less frequently with spirits, of which I usually drink single malt scotch or tequilla.  When I do drink spirits, they are usually top shelf so I can't speak to quality relating to the problem.  

I will try the Vitamin C next time before I consume wine or beer and see what happens.

Avatar universal
I have been experiencing pain when drinking alcohol.  Mine is a more dull pain, feels like a lump in my throat and hurts when I swallow.  And it lasts a day or two.

For any of you with similar experiences, does it happen every time you drink alcohol?
Avatar universal
I just wanted to say, Thank God!  I thought I was crazy.  I drink beer on the weekends, maybe about once or twice a month.  Usually during the second or third beer I get a sharp pain where my jaw reaches my ears and feels like my salivary glands are getting pinched.  I'm not a wine drinker, so I've only noticed it with beer.  

The pain isn't as bad as others have posted, and mine usually goes away after about 5 to 10 minutes.
Avatar universal
I get this too...shooting pain behind my ears down my jaw after drinking beer or wine, I just asked my dentist about it to see what he would have to offer me as a solution.  I thought that it seemed odd since its similar to the tastebud pain after you eat something sour but my pain lasts for over 20 min and has gotton progressively worse, but only when i drink alcohol. But, It sounds like this may be a common thing, maybe some sort of reaction from the tastebuds. He was thinking it may be a neurological pain...hmmmm so we will see what he suggests.
Avatar universal
I get a burning pain starting below my ears and down my jawline when I have a mixed drink with a meal. The pain usually starts right after I finish eating and goes away after about ten minutes.It never happens any other time I drink beer, wine, or liquor or when eating a meal with a non-alcoholic drink. I can't seem to find any information to explain why this happens.
Avatar universal
I too suffer from this problem and have for probably as long as I've been drinking alcohol (25 years or so).  The pain is very odd and unlike any I've felt on another part of my body.  Does anyone else experience an extreme  increase in pain, extreme; when trying to eat or drink something during an episode (especially something sweet)?  

I've researched it before and probably saw the beginnings of this thread.  It is nice to know I'm not crazy and/or alone on this.
Avatar universal
I get this same problem with only margaritas and wine after a big meal.   It is a slow steady sharp pain that increases.  It seems to start torward the rear exterior of my jaw and then increases in pain centered just behind the lowest part of my ear.  Then after about 10 minutes pain goes away completely. It feels like it might be the behind the tonsils.  I notice sometimes my ears seem to try to pop after this sensation.  Would like to know if it's an allergy. Pain seems to occur within 1 minute after consumption.
1318245 tn?1274227973
I do experience an increase in pain with consumption of sweet things when drinking! I ate a strawberry while my jawline was still aching after a drink of wine and as soon as it was in my mouth it felt like someone lit my jaw on fire!

After a bit of reading and seeing others comments, I have to agree that it's probably an allergy or irritation of the salivary glands from the sulphites in some types of alcohol.

I mostly drink spirits now to avoid the pain, the ones I buy do not contain any sulphites.
Avatar universal
I also have this problem. GP and dentist had no clue.  Allergy doc tested me for a bunch of allergies (not sulfides or yeast) and was convinced it is not an allergy. (don't know if I agree).  Neurologist is convinced it is an atypical migraine of the trigeminal nerve.  (Don't know if I agree with that either since ibuprofen has no effect on its occurrence).  I suspect it is somehow related to dehydration.  Does anyone else notice a correlation with being dehydrated?
Avatar universal
I get Right cheekbone (zygoma) pain about 1 hour after drinikng more than a "drink", beer, wine or scotch in less than an hour. open beer 4:30, finish at 5:00, pain at 6:00. Right cheekbone only, very intense, lasting up to an hour. Have not continued drinking to see what would happen. If I sip the beer till 5:30 all is good.
Cousin sent me a "web" mail about 16 ounces  of gatorade curing a migraine, well it does the same for me, if I get on it soon enough. That suggests to me its an electrolyte problem, but only on the right zygoma????At times with in an inch or 2 diameter of the bone
Any ideas??
Avatar universal
i am 26 years old, and drinking alcoholics about 9 years now, always suffered pain in my bones after drinking especially forearm and leg bones and also headache. then someone told me it's because of the lack of water, from then i drink enough water after drinking alcoholics, and i have no problems with bone ache now.
i have used  many different kinds of drinks, vodka, whiskey, wine, beer, even pure ethanol! and never experienced ache in my ears and jaw, but now i get that bad pain after drinking a beer that i made myself, not all of my products, but some of them, i guess it has something to do with overload of saccharomyces cerevisiae, or maybe something that i eat with my drink (ate pizza with my beer tonight and got that pain)
anyway after searching google i got to this thread and some other, where they suggested vitamin c, i made a cup of vitamin c drink and while i got a really bad pain in my jaws for opening my mouth to drink, the pain was really gone while finishing the drink!
still i don't know it was for vitamin c or water, i will try water next time to know that :p
Avatar universal
Wow after 15 years with this I finally research and see most of you have experienced the same thing as myself. I drink one beer or glass of wine, and by the time the drink is gone, I get this pain in my jaw like nothing else I ever felt. It's a shooting pain, when I swallow it shoots, when I cough it shoots. The pain shoots from the back of the lower jaw right up the line to almost my ears. I usually have to let my jaw sag and not talk for 15-20 minutes to let it subside. After that, I can drink as much beer or wine as I needed pain free. I see above the "sulfides (preservative 220 - 228)" issues, and that's what I will reasearch further.
I can drink all other types of alchol, with no problems. I like my Whisky, and have never gotten the pain from it.
I have one time experienced something similar, it was when I demolished a whole large bag of Zesty Cheese Dorito's. I assumes it was the constant chewing action that kicked it in, but am not sure.
Avatar universal
I have a problem that when i drink the very first shot or beer or anything I feel like the bones are acheing inside of my body but after the first one I am fine but it hurts badly very badly and I dont know why. its like all the bones in my arms and legs ache like a headache yet its only when I have had one and it wont stop till I have had one or two more sometimes.
Avatar universal
Thank you to everyone on this post for this information.  I, too, have this same problem--a terrible shooting pain and tightening in my jaw which radiates into my ears.  It lasts about 30 minutes (but, usually I take an antihistamine immediately when it occurs).  Interesting--it only seems to happen when I drink certain red wines, and I can't figure out a way to predict which ones will cause this reaction.  For now,I will try staying away from cheap wines (not sure if that is really the problem), stay well hydrated and take the Vitamin C.  Hopefully, it will not happen again.  If anyone discovered anything new in their research, I would greatly appreciate it.  
1081992 tn?1389907237
Hi, how did you now to take an antihistamine? There is a connection in that both histamine and alcohol are metabolized down into acetaldehydes.

Have you looked into the "alcohol flush reaction"?
Avatar universal
I have this pain too but I don't have it every time.  It usually does occur when I drink alcohols of some type, usually beer or wine.  It didn't always happen.  It started in my 20's but seems to be happening to me more frequently (I'm 35 now) and it hurts even more.  It happens when I drink cheap alcohols or expensive ones.  I just drank some higher quality tequila and my ears and jaw are killing me.  The pain is right behind where the jaw attaches to my skull and travels down to behind my jaw where it starts to turn in towards my mouth.  I'v seen a lot of comments from those who have it but I haven't seen a comment about what the hell it is.  Does anybody know?  
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