Unfortunately, our fast-moving life makes us often to ignore or at least mask the ache of different nature with the widely available pain relievers. And no wonder that we tend to simply not notice the ear and jaw pain, especially when it occurs just now and then.
However, medical care experts keep warning us that the combination of these two symptoms might be the warning sign of a number of minor and also major general health conditions. Some of them can be managed at home by simple nutrition changes or even physical workouts or fitness routine. The other ones are the life threatening health conditions, which require the urgent and complex medical treatment.
A temporomadibular joint disorder is the first trigger a layman can think about, whenever experiencing the ear and jaw pain. And he is absolutely right, since the front wall of the ear additionally serves as the back one for a temporomadibular joint. That is why the wide range of the health conditions of this group trigger the ear and jaw pain or at least tenderness, commonly accompanied with the facial pain, chewing difficulties, or even headache or major orthodontic disorders, such as uneven bite.
The temporomadibular joint disorders commonly result from the shock-absorbing disk wear, which makes jaw bones ends to painfully rub against one another, as in the result of the teeth clenching or grinding habits. The major mouth or facial trauma is also likely to cause the disk misalignment with the pain radiating into the ear. The jaw joint instability is frequently the result of the inflammation, arthritis, or mere jaw muscles fatigue.
This way, the ear and jaw pain is usually successfully managed with the stress elimination psychological practices and exercises in the minor TMJ disorders cases. Sometimes, the problem elimination requires the major lifestyle changes, such as mouth guards or splints wearing for the severe teeth grinding problems control or even the major orthodontic procedures aimed at the bite problems correction. Oftentimes, prescribed pain relievers and relaxants become the essential part of the ear and jaw pain treatment. Whenever the temporomadibular joint disorder associated ear and jaw pain results from the major underlying general health conditions, they call for the actual source medical management.
If it turns out that your temporomadibular joint is just full of health, it is quite naturally to presuppose that the pain originates from your ear. In these terms, medical care experts draw the close link between the ear and jaw pain and serous otitis media. As its Latin name reveals, the condition affects the patient's middle ear, which gets literary filled with the fluid.
The condition develops whenever the excessive amounts of mucus get trapped in the Eustachian tube connecting the middle ear with the upper throat. This way, it might very well be the upper throat infection that triggers the Eustachian tube blockage and consequent sharp pressure change, which naturally results into both ear and jaw pain, accompanied with the increasingly discomforting feeling of pressure.
But can the ear and jaw pain originate from another part of our body rather than the temporomadibular joint or ear? The MedlinePlus experts show the practical examples, when this statement is true to be outlined in the next paragraph.
This is a medical term for the ache, which is felt in a certain body area, but actually originates from another, oftentimes, distant, one. The thing is that the ear and jaw pain signal received by the brain through the multi-branched body nerves system gets sometimes fluctuated and therefore, treated by it as the one coming from the other part of the body.
So, the results of the MedlinePlus experts' practices show that more than a half of the ear and jaw pain cases at the adult patients have nothing to do with ear or jaw medical conditions, but originate from the throat or teeth.
By far the most vivid example, when the ear and jaw pain originates from the throat is parotitis. To put it simple, it is the saliva glands viral or more rarely, bacterial infection, causing the acute salivation impairments.
Apart from the ear and jaw pain, the parotitis symptoms involve the dry mouth, abnormal taste, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, oral plus facial ache. In addition, the face gets red plus swollen; the inflammation rapidly radiates into the mouth floor, jaw, and is felt in the front surface of the ears.
The parotitis therapy usually includes the antibiotics and pain relievers intake; but each treatment plan is rather individual and is developed by a qualified medical care provider.
Do not get surprised to hear this question, since about 3% of the ear and jaw pain cases originate from a rather uncommon tooth extraction complication termed "dry socket". Medical care experts associate it with the blood clot dislodgement, which in turn, leads to the highly painful supporting bone and tooth nerves exposure.
The side-effect therapy usually includes the medicated compresses, socket flushing, and certainly, pain relievers intake.
Tumors are the ear and jaw pain sources that cause the major concerns among the patients. The good news is that they can be equally benign and malignant and therefore, not necessarily manifest the cancer development.
The warning signs of the both types of the jaw tumors include the facial and jaw pain. The earache is evident not only within the ear but also around it. Additionally, the face gets badly swollen and tender; the teeth start swiftly getting loose.
The jaw tumor treatment plan depends on its type and also location. The most common type is the squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the teeth sockets. And metastatic tumor is by far the most problematic case.
One more huge threat associated with the ear and jaw pain is a high rare salivary cancer. The tumors are known to affect not only the actual salivary glands, but additionally throat, neck, and eventually, mouth. The disease symptoms include the reoccurring and/ or referred pain in the affected areas, facial swelling plus numbness, and difficulty swallowing.
The salivary cancer therapy might include surgical invasion, reconstructive plus physical procedures, and radiation plus chemotherapy.
And finally, remember that these serious ear and jaw pain associated general health conditions are quite rare, but they rise the urgent need for the timely syndrome trigger diagnosis. Be healthy and wealthy!