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Discharge from the molar tooth. Ear blocked on the same side, headaches. X-ray normal

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 4583 Questions
Quite without warning or pain the area around my left molar area leaks fluid - this happens several times a day and has been going on for about 3 years. I hadan Xray done by the dentist and the tooth is sound. My ear is also blocked on that side. I had an ultra sound two years ago which didn't show anything sinister. I do get headaches, not too severe on that side of my head too.
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 46 minutes later
Thanks for writing in.
There could be many causes for the variety of problems you mentioned. It is possible that there could be growth of a mass, which would be benign (given your long history) which may be present in upper jaw and lower part of skull which may be causing block to the tube draining your ear. This causes blocked ear and other ear symptoms.
As I believe that more information helps a physician help a patient better, I would request you to answer the following questions:
a.      Is fluid leaking from your cheek on the skin or inside the mouth?
b.      Is the fluid bloody, yellow or clear?
c.     Are there any swellings inside the mouth or around the neck?
d.     Do you have any pain during swallowing?
e.     Do you have a sore throat, blocked nose, bleeding from nose, sneezing, ear pain, ear fluid discharge, hearing loss?
f.     Have you experienced any weight loss recently?
g.     Are you a chronic smoker?

You may attempt steam inhalation which may be able to clear a trivial block and relieve you of your ear symptoms.

You will need to get a thorough checkup by an ENT Specialist to rule out possibility of growth of suspicious masses which can cause damage to nerves causing pain, nose block, ear block and other related complaints.
Awaiting your reply
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Discharge from the molar tooth. Ear blocked on the same side, headaches. X-ray normal 9 hours later
Answering your questions, the fluid is inside the mouth and seems to come from the area of the back upper molar tooth. Next to it, I had a difficult extraction but that was 40 years ago and the recent Xray showed a tiny fragment of root still remaining. So far as I can tell the fluid is clear and does not taste bad, mildly salty. There are no swellings, I do not have pain when swallowing, more a feeling of pressure in the area. My nose is not blocked only the ear which does not seem to produce wax. I have lost weight deliberately to keep fit but this problem began before I lost wieght. I am 178cm and weight 76kg, walk each day and follow a mainly vegetarian diet. I take Atacand 15 mg and no other medication. My concern is that, while there was no detected lymph gland involvment in the bi lateral breast cancer 10 years ago, that there may be a lymph gland that is infected. Thank you for your quick reply. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 15 hours later
Hi there.

Thanks for the reply.

Has your breast cancer been treated by chemotherapy or surgery or both?

Was there any complication during the time your cancer was detected, like cancer spreading through the body etc.?

It is possible for the development of an oro-nasal fistula or a connection from the mouth to the nose or nasal sinus may have occurred due to the faulty dental procedure accompanying difficult tooth extraction which may be draining sinus fluid.

There is possibility of tonsil involvement especially if you have difficulty swallowing.

The ear block needs to be investigated for possible inflammation, infection or other processes which may be preventing draining of fluid from ear. Lymph node infection may also be present in throat or neck and this can be better detected by the Doctor.

Avoid deliberate weight loss by starvation at any cost. Rather convert to healthy diet, XXXXXXX in fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Keep well hydrated. Check blood pressure regularly. Do daily brisk walking to keep fit.

Kindly perform steam inhalation as a trial for possible relief of symptoms. Do consult your ENT Doctor to get a thorough checkup and find the cause of this draining fluid and get it treated soon.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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