About all

Pain at base of ear and jaw: Salivary gland infections Information | Mount Sinai

4 Causes Of Jaw And Ear Pain

TMJ Treatment |3 min read

It’s possible to experience jaw and ear pain simultaneously for lots of different reasons. Although your ears and jaws are located in different areas, their close proximity can affect one another. Oftentimes when you develop a medical condition in your mouth, jaw, or ear, it can cause referred pain in the jaw and ear. If you’re experience jaw and ear pain at the same time, it might be due to the following problems.

1. TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders are one of the most common causes of jaw and ear pain. This is due to the temporomandibular joint being adjacent to the temporal bone which is apart of the inner ear. When the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed it can cause pain and discomfort in the ears as well as the jaw. People might experience a muffled sound in the ears accompanied by pain. If you suspect TMJ is the culprit, visiting Bite Align for a TMJ consultation is the best place to start. With the right TMJ treatment, we can resolve your ear and jaw pain for good.

Symptoms of TMJ include clicking or popping noise in the jaw when opening and closing your mouth, pain when chewing, headaches or constant migraines, ear ringing, hearing loss, shoulder and neck pain, and even teeth shifting. Please schedule a consultation with us to learn more.

2. Dental Issues

If you have periodontal disease, cavities, dental abscesses, or a build-up of bacteria on your gums and teeth, it can cause severe pain in your jaw and ears. If you experience tooth sensitivity, pain in your face, loose teeth, sensitivity to cold or hot beverages, or swelling in the gums, it’s best to get checked out by your dentist. Treating your dental problems might be all you need to relieve jaw and ear pain.

3. Swimmer’s Ear

You may have experienced swimmer’s ear at some point in your life. It generally occurs from an injury like tearing the ear’s lining or water exposure that causes bacteria to form in the outer ear. These bacteria can cause painful symptoms like ear and jaw pain. If you believe you injured your ear or recently got water in your ear, visiting a doctor to see if you have swimmer’s ear can help you treat your pain.

4. Arthritis

Although most people don’t think about getting arthritis in the jaw, it can occur. Osteoarthritis can occur in the temporomandibular joint which can cause ear and jaw pain. It usually develops from wear and tear to the cartilage surrounding the joint over time. Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis can also cause jaw and ear pain because it causes the immune system to attack healthy joints. This can cause joint pain throughout the body including the temporomandibular joint.

Get Treatment for Ear and Jaw Pain

One of the best ways to treat jaw and ear pain is to rule out what causes it. Visiting Bite Align in Fort Atkinson for a consultation can help you identify if TMJ is the cause or a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint. Please call 920-563-7323 or book an appointment online today.

Otalgia Ear Ache or Ear Pain

What Is Otalgia?

Otalgia is the medical word for ear ache or ear pain. It may be burning, stabbing, dull, sharp, sore, full, or clogged. There are many causes that range from benign to serious. Benign causes are more common than serious ones.

What Causes Otalgia?

There are two categories of otalgia. Primary otalgia is caused by a problem with the ear. Referred otalgia is caused by a problem of another structure usually near the ear. Referred otalgia is much more common than primary otalgia.

What Are Common Ear Causes of Otalgia?

Ear infections are the most common cause of ear pain in this category. Swimmer’s ear (infection of the ear canal) and otitis media (fluid or infection behind the ear drum) cause primary ear pain. Trauma to the ear with a cotton tipped applicator or finger nail may also cause ear pain and ear wax impaction. Dull ache or fullness may also result be experienced. Under ventilated ears (Eustachian tube dysfunction) or excess fluid in the inner ear (Meniere’s syndrome) should be considered by your doctor. Very rarely otalgia is a sign of malignancy (cancer) of the ear. Usually primary ear pain will cause hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo as a clue that the ear is directly involved.

What Are Common Causes of Referred Otalgia?

In referred otalgia, other ear symptoms like hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo are usually absent. The jaw joint and muscles are the most common cause of referred otalgia. Anxiety, stress, bruxism (grinding teeth), large bites of food, excessive yawning, nail biting, and excessive gum chewing are risk factors. Strain of the chewing muscles or sprain of the jaw joint can occur.

Neck pathology can also cause referred otalgia. Anxiety, stress, arthritis, whiplash injury, excessive office work, excessive cell phone scrolling, and neck popping are risk factors.

Gingivitis, cavities, and infected or abscessed teeth can cause referred ear pain along with dental problems.

Trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain) may cause referred ear pain along with stabbing cheek pain after light touch or wind exposure.

Cancers of the head and neck may cause referred ear pain. Throat cancer may present with ear pain associated with difficulty swallowing or hoarseness. Cancer of the salivary glands may cause ear pain, mass of the cheek/jaw/neck, or facial droop.

Where Does Treatment Start?

With otalgia, the response to treatment can be useful to help find the culprit. Most causes are not serious. Conservative treatment is a good place to start. If you have risk factors for jaw strain/sprain, begin by resting your jaw. Maintain a soft diet for 1 week. Stop chewing gum and hard candies. Apply ice and/or heat to your jaw joint. Take ibuprofen daily for a week. Consider talking to your dentist about a bite guard to wear at night so that you do not grind your teeth. Also, if you have hurting teeth, you may be compensating your bite in a way that strains your jaw. Have this evaluated by your dentist as well.

If you have risk factors for neck strain take regular breaks when straining you neck. Stop habitual popping or cracking your neck. Take breaks from looking down at your cell phone. Take ibuprofen daily for a week. Consider neck physical therapy especially if you have had a whiplash injury.

If conservative measures do not work or if you have red flag symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, mass, facial droop an evaluation of your ear pain is recommended. It is important to find the cause of persistent ear pain and make sure the ear is healthy.

Why does the jaw near the ear on the left hurt so much that it even hurts to chew?

If the joint of the jaw near the ear hurts, treatment requires prior identification of the source of pain. Not always the problem is caused by diseases of the jaw. Without an examination by a specialist, it is definitely impossible to answer why the jaw near the ear hurts. The cause of the pathology can be various damage to soft and bone tissues from correcting malocclusion with braces to a malignant tumor.

Common causes of jaw pain include:

  1. The need to wear braces or dentures. Correction of the bite, normal placement of teeth for some time is accompanied by pain.
  2. Wisdom tooth growth. Deviation from the accepted norm (for example, the wrong angle relative to the jaw) causes damage to the soft tissues and the jaw itself. When chewing, the pain is aggravated.
  3. Surgical intervention (removal of a cyst, the tooth itself) may cause pain for some time, but if it does not go away after the wound has completely healed, there is reason to assume the development of a new disease.

If the pain in the jaw is not related to the correction of the bite or surgery, it is recommended to visit the dentist as soon as possible.


Diseases of the gums, maxillofacial apparatus

9000 8

  • Osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint leads to stiffness, pain at the time of mouth opening. While chewing, the pain in the jaw is aggravated by noise in the left ear.
  • Arthritis. Inflammation of the jaw joint is accompanied by severe pain, crunching when chewing.
  • Joint dysfunction. The pain manifests itself when trying to chew, tightly connect the upper and lower jaw. Sensations are given to the ear zone, the cheek area. It is worth opening your mouth wide, as clicks are clearly audible.
  • Gingivitis. The inflamed mucous membranes of the gums react sharply to attempts to chew rough food.
  • Osteomyelitis. Pathogens are considered to be pathogenic microorganisms that have penetrated the bone tissue. As a result of their activity, a purulent process begins in the bone, due to which uncomfortable sensations arise in the form of pain in the ear on the left side. Because of this, in the process of chewing, the pain in the jaw increases markedly.
  • Injuries of the jaw

    If the jaw hurts near the ear on the left, which hurts to chew, it may be the result of injuries. The severity of the damage determines the rate of disappearance of the symptom that prevents you from chewing calmly on one of the sides. The most minor injury is considered a bruise. Acute pain and swelling leave the owner after a few days.

    Fracture is considered to be quite a dangerous injury to the jaw. In addition to severe pain, hemorrhage under the skin and swelling, the patient is faced with the fact that he is experiencing serious difficulties in opening his mouth. As a result of a fracture of the upper jaw, hemorrhage in the orbital region can be observed, which leads the specialist to assume a fracture of the base of the jaw. When, immediately after a fracture, the victim not only has an earache, but a clear liquid, blood, is released from it, he is taken to the hospital as soon as possible to provide qualified assistance.

    ENT diseases

    The jaw on the left near the ear can hurt so much that it hurts to chew as a result of running purulent processes or inflammation in the sinuses themselves. Among the ENT diseases that can cause pain when chewing on the left side, inflammation of the tonsils and tissues close to them are also noted.

    Mumps or mumps is a viral inflammation of the parotid gland, making it painful, which is felt in the region of the upper and lower jaw, ear. Additionally, the patient’s temperature rises, there is weakness, swelling on one side. The disease often occurs in childhood. Those who have been ill develop a stable immunity that does not leave the pathology a chance for a second attack.

    Pain in the jaw near the ear: inflammatory processes

    Caries of the jaw, which is caused by the movement of infection along with blood from the affected tooth to the jaw. This phenomenon is usually the result of trauma. In addition to painful sensations in the jaw, which tend to increase at the moment of chewing, a person also observes other changes in his body:

    • high temperature, which can reach 40 degrees;
    • swelling under the skin;
    • asymmetry, distortion of the face due to severe puffiness;
    • examination of the oral cavity makes it easy to identify the “culprit”, which necessarily has pulpitis or a significant carious defect;
    • inflammation of the submandibular lymph nodes.

    Abscess and phlegmon. Purulent lesions on soft tissues provoke high fever, acute pain. Separately, a paratonsillar abscess is isolated, which is considered a complication of angina. It has a special location next to the amygdala.

    Pain caused by tumors

    Most benign neoplasms do not have characteristic symptoms. If the jaw near the ear hurts as a result of a benign tumor, then the patient is suspected of one of three variants of the disease:

    1. Adamantinoma. The tumor affects the chewing process due to the thickening of the jaw. If at an early stage the soreness of the jaw is mild, then the progression of the pathology provides acute and severe pain.
    2. Osteoid osteoma. The growth of such a tumor is very slow. Acute pains at the first stage disturb only during sleep. When the size of the tumor becomes such that it provokes asymmetry of the face, pain also occurs when chewing.
    3. Osteoblastoclastoma. The pain is aching in nature, a fistula appears on the skin, and a tumor with a light pink tint is observed on the gums.

    Malignant tumors without appropriate tests are extremely difficult to distinguish from benign ones. There are several types of malignant tumors. Cancer itself is a lesion of soft tissues close to the jaw. Pathology grows deep into the tissues at high speed, causing loosening of the teeth and their subsequent loss. Pain gain intensity gradually.

    With the development of a malignant tumor in the connective tissue, a rapid growth of pathology is observed. The disease brings a person intense shooting pain. The patient may be misled by the fact that at the first stage of the disease he observes not pain, but a decrease in the sensitivity of the mucous membrane and skin.

    Osteogenic sarcoma grows in bone tissue. The pain is characterized by duration and strength, gradually it begins to spread to the ear area and face.

    Prolonged severe pain in the jaw begins to gradually capture new territories, spreading to the ear area, as well as the face.

    Neurological pathologies

    Nerve pathologies can cause pain, which is felt in the temporomandibular joint and in the ear area. Specialists identify:

    1. Neuralgia of the superior laryngeal nerve. The gradual increase in pain is especially pronounced when yawning and eating. Additional signs include hiccups, active salivation, and coughing.
    2. Trigeminal neuralgia. Pain near the ear is accompanied by a burning sensation. It becomes especially intense at night.

    Vascular diseases

    If blood flow is disturbed, arteritis of the facial artery develops. The disease is characterized by severe burning pain. The defeat of the facial artery causes a strong painful feeling in the lower jaw. Discomfort is given for frequent in the eye area. If the carotid artery is affected, then the pain increases when you try to touch the face and neck area.

    Pathologies with impaired blood flow, such as angina pectoris or heart attack, are not usually associated with jaw pain. However, experts register non-standard development of the disease. There are cases when there is no habitual acute pain behind the sternum, and the attack is accompanied by a sharp intense pain in the lower jaw on the left side.

    Such a course of the disease is extremely dangerous and very rarely leads the patient to consult a cardiologist. A sharp toothache leads a person to a dentist, who, not knowing about the concomitant diseases of the cardiovascular system of his client, can begin to treat his teeth.

    Jaw hurts near the ear: what to do?

    The occurrence of acute pain in one of the jaws near the ear requires the patient to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many diseases can become a threat to human life if timely treatment is not taken.

    Any injury to the face that hits the jaw requires an immediate visit to the emergency room to rule out complications, determine the absence of splinters.

    Inflammatory processes are treated only under the supervision of a specialist. With the ineffectiveness of drug therapy, in advanced cases, one has to resort to surgical intervention.

    In some cases, the patient has to endure acute pain due to the inability to immediately contact the dentist for help. The situation allows the use of mild painkillers. But here it is necessary to exercise maximum caution. The use of aspirin or paracetamol can cause severe bleeding if surgery is performed in the jaw area in the morning. The action of the drug can distort the clinical picture of the disease when examined by a dentist, which will complicate the correct diagnosis, the result will be a long and ineffective treatment.

    Some phytotherapy recipes help relieve discomfort for a while, but do not have a serious effect on the body. Even decoctions must be prepared in accordance with the recommendations of an experienced herbalist or consult with your therapist.

    Flux on gums: causes, symptoms, treatment


    Periostitis is of infectious and traumatic origin. In the first case, the flux on the gums is caused by the bacterial microflora of the oral cavity: staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli, yeast-like fungi. Pathogens penetrate into the periosteum tissues through bone canals, dentinal tubules, and cementum. Infection occurs from foci of tonsillitis, SARS, sinusitis, otitis media, scarlet fever, osteomyelitis.

    Most often, dental diseases predispose to the appearance of a flux of an infectious origin:

    • alveolitis (inflammation of the tooth socket),

    • periodontitis (destruction of periodontal tissues),

    • adentia (complete or partial absence of teeth),

    • jaw cyst,

    • inflammation of unerupted or partially erupted wisdom teeth,

    • periodontitis (inflammatory lesions of the soft tissues around the tooth).

    Traumatic periostitis is associated with damage to the periosteum:

    • trauma or tooth extraction,

    • open fracture of the jaw,

    • surgical treatment.

    The risk of periostitis increases local or general hypothermia, excessive emotional and physical stress, poor oral hygiene. Flux can be the result of untreated caries, the use of anesthetics and arsenic paste for root canal treatment.


    Various forms of periostitis have specific clinical manifestations. Inflammation occurs in the lower or upper jaw. The flux begins with swelling of the soft tissues, redness of the mucous membrane at the site of the transitional fold, inflammation of the submandibular lymph nodes. As a rule, there is a “causal tooth” in the mouth with pulpitis or periodontitis.

    Purulent periostitis occurs as an independent disease or is a symptom of osteomyelitis (infection and destruction of the jaw bones).

    Purulent flux is characterized by:

    Visually determine the swelling of the soft tissues of the maxillary zone. If the flux affects the upper jaw, the swelling extends to the upper lip, cervical, zygomatic and infraorbital region, the lower jaw – the chin and lower lip swell.

    When examining the oral cavity, a subperiosteal abscess is found – a limited dense capsule filled with purulent contents. As periostitis progresses, pus penetrates under the gum, and together with its accumulation, a subgingival abscess is formed. Purulent contents can flow into the mouth through an opening – a fistula. Opening an abscess brings relief.

    In chronic periostitis, periods of remission alternate with pain in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe “causative tooth”. The submandibular lymph nodes become inflamed, the configuration of the face changes, the mucous membrane of the oral cavity swells.

    Call right now

    +7 (495) 186-01-41

    Sign up


    Abscess, swelling of the gums, pain and hyperemia are the main signs of flux. On examination, a destroyed tooth, untreated caries are found, which served as a source of inflammation of the periosteum.

    Radiography reveals:

    During the diagnosis, it is necessary to exclude osteomyelitis, abscess, sinusitis (inflammation of the paranasal sinuses), lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes), perimaxillary phlegmon (melting of the subcutaneous tissue).


    The goal of therapy is to eliminate the focus of infection, prevent purulent complications, and save the tooth. Milk and severely damaged teeth are subject to removal, those that have retained functional activity require treatment.

    Locally prescribed rinses with disinfectant solutions. To relieve pain, analgesics are taken, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to stop inflammation. Antibacterial agents are selected taking into account the mechanism of development of inflammation and the sensitivity of the infection. In the presence of foci of chronic infections, they are simultaneously sanitized (cleaned).

    In addition to conservative treatment, physiotherapy methods are used:

    • phonophoresis,

    • electrophoresis,

    • laser therapy,

    • ultrasound,

    • impulse currents.

    As a rule, with a timely visit to the dentist, conservative measures are sufficient to resolve the flux.