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Can an Ear Infection Cause Jaw Pain, or is it Just TMJ Disorder?

December 15, 2022

If you’re suffering from intense pain in your ear, jaw, and throat, you just might have an ear infection. But can an ear infection cause jaw pain? As unlikely as it seems, the answer is yes. An ear infection can lead to severe discomfort and pain in your jaw, neck, sinuses, as well as your throat.

Although, if you’re experiencing acute pain only in your jaw, perhaps it’s not just an extension of the ear infection but a sign of something more.

Can an Ear Infection Cause Jaw Pain?

Ear infections are known to leave behind a trail of sharp pain. This can lead from your ear, to behind the ear, to the jaw and teeth, and then all the way inside your throat.

This happens as a result of bacteria or viruses settling inside your ear, becoming the main cause of the infection.

When not taken care of, the symptoms of an ear infection can worsen. It may start off with a simple earache, progressing to congestion, fatigue, and fever. However, if you leave it untreated, the symptoms and your condition can easily deteriorate.

Other Reasons Why You Might Have Ear and Jaw Pain

Despite ear and jaw pain being related, the cause isn’t always an infection. In fact, most people who go to a doctor for an ear infection end up getting transferred because the pain has nothing to do with an ear infection.

So, what other disease out there can mimic the pain and affect this duo? Well, mentioned below are the top five reasons why your ear and jaw might be feeling a little sore lately:

  1. Bruxism
    Known as ‘Teeth Grinding,’ people with Bruxism clench or grind their jaw during their sleep. It could also happen when they’re awake, but it’s an unconscious habit. This gnashing of teeth can lead to pain in your ear and jaw region.
  2. Sinusitis
    Congested sinus is known to cause a lot of irritation and sickness. Besides watery eyes, fever, fatigue, and a sore throat, mild pain in the jaw or ear could also be a symptom.
  3. TMJ
    TMJ disorder is by far the most common reason why people feel this connected bout of pain. TMJ stands for the Temporomandibular Joint, an internal hinge for your mouth. When hurt or damaged, it can cause serious pain in the joints of your jaw and the ear since it’s near.
  4. Facial Injury
    Sporting facial trauma or injury is yet another reason why people find themselves clutching their jaw in discomfort. If you have an earache and your jaw hurts only on one side, chances are it’s just a small wound.
  5. Oral Infections
    This can refer to a lot of infectious varieties. An abscessed tooth or infected gum can become a gateway for the pain behind your ear and jaw.

How to Get Rid of Jaw Pain

Whether it’s an ear infection or an oral condition, it doesn’t matter. Whatever is causing your jaw pain, it’s best to consult a TMJ specialist and get it checked out. This will help you understand where the pain is coming from.

Here are some treatment options a dentist or TMJ specialist might recommend to ease the pain:

  • TMJ Surgery
  • Orthodontic treatment for a misaligned bite and jaw
  • Night Guard
  • Dental Fillings
  • Pain Relief Medications you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder. In such a case, contact Village Park Family, Orthodontics & Wellness Center at (281) 376-4444. You can also drop by our dental center at 12617 Louetta Rd Suite #204, Cypress, TX 77429. We’re located right beside Super Family Cuts.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs. All blogs are meant to be educational. We advise always consulting with a professional before attempting anything written in a blog. We can not guarantee all of the services that we write about in our blogs. Any attempt to perform anything written in a blog can result in serious injury or fatality without expert guidance and oversight.


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