Why That Earache Isn’t Going Away

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Pain in the ears causes a lot of discomfort and will rob you of the much needed tranquility and quiet everyone wants after a long, hard day. An earache can also rob you of sleep, which is a critical component of good health.

A common way of treating pain in the ears is a dose of antibiotics to get rid of an ear infection. Most infections respond to normal drug therapy, whether it is a chest, tooth or throat infection. Relief from pain indicates that the infection has been dealt with.

But, what do you do when medication fails to alleviate the discomfort? The following post points to what could be the cause of your “untreatable” earache:

Do You Have an Ear Infection or Is It Really TMJ?

At least once a day, someone comes into our offices complaining of ear pain. Most of our patients think that they have an ear infection based on assumption (the pain is coming from the ear region after all!) … but it may come as a surprise that most ear pain has nothing wrong with the ears.

The most common cause of ear pain in an adult is the temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ. The temporo-mandibular joint is located extremely close to the ear canal and middle ear. The muscles that surround the temporo-mandibular joint and the fascia and ligaments that hold the bones in place are intricately connected with the ear and the nerve that supports the ear. Read more at Berger Henry…

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As the post above explains, many people confuse ear infections with TMJ-based earaches. Because the ear is closely connected with the jaws and other facial muscles, the pain can be rooted in problems affecting these surrounding areas.

It might sound complicated when you first hear about TMJ ear pain so let’s take a closer look at the kinds of ear pain that are TMJ related. The following post gives some of the characteristics of this kind of earache:

TMJ Pain Characteristics

TMJ ear pain might be a dull, ongoing irritation or it could be a sharp, searing pain. It may even cause minor spasms in some of the muscles that comprise your face. You’re more likely to feel it, of course, whenever you move your jaw to talk, chew, yawn or swallow. Although this pain affects the tissues covering the joint just in front of your ear, you might also feel it in the surrounding facial area along the side of your head, neck, temple, cheek, lower jaw and teeth. Ear pain is often accompanied by a clicking sound or grating sensation, according to Mayo Clinic, and it can be difficult to open your mouth as wide as you would be able to normally. Read more at Colgate.com…

Does the description in the above post help to identify the type of discomfort you are experiencing? If it does, then you are on your way to getting the relief you desperately crave.

A proper understanding of TMJ ear pain and its origins will allow us to accurately treat the root cause of your earache rather than simply address the symptoms. A lot of research has been done on TMJ and the related conditions that come with it. The following post describes the causes of TMJ ear pain:

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What Causes TMJ Ear Pain?

Before we get into the TMJ ear pain treatment, it’s important to realize what is causing your TMJ ear problems. Essentially, the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, gets worn down. The joint is responsible for connecting the lower jaw to the skull, and it is the joint that makes your jaw move. Through excessive grinding, jaw clenching, or other repetitive motions, the cartilage and other connective tissues get damaged, resulting in a constant TMJ earache that you can’t get rid of. Read more at Fairfield Sleep TMJ…

To get rid of your earache, you need treatment that tackles the issues with your TMJ. Fort Collins Headache Center uses a breakthrough, FDA approved treatment called TruDenta to correct problems with the TMJ and provide relief.

Book a consultation exam with Dr. Jared Ward today to see if you are a candidate for our cutting-edge therapy. If you are, we will create a treatment plan for you that will have you symptom free with just 12 or fewer weekly visits. Call Fort Collins Headache Center at 970-672-8517 or use the contact form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our goal is to make you smile!