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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is ear pain a symptom of TMJ?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2589 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 14 Dec 2015 in General Health
Question: For two months now I have pain in my outer ear area on my right side and sometimes in my inner ear area. I also will have pain in the front part of my ear as well as in my jaw and cheeks at times. Also the same ear seems to be congested and feels like i need to pop it but when I do it pops easily. I went to an ENT a month ago and he check my ears and there was no sign of infection and my eardrums looked good. i then went to my dentist and he thinks I have TMJ because my jaw pops and I do clench my teeth a lot. i'm tired of going to so many doctors and not really getting an answer, could this be tmj? or should I seek another specialist to run further tests? I'm afraid of a tumor because my mom had a benign tumor behind her eardrum when she was in her 30's.

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Ear tumours are rare.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. Your ENT Specialist should get an Impedance Audiometry (Tympanometry to rule out Eustachian Tue Dysfunction). If this is normal, TMJ is likely.

2. TMJ will also cause similar pain and sensations due to common nerve supply (referred sensation). This has to be a mild TMJ due to frequent jaw clenching (bruxism) as severe TMJ restricts mouth opening and jaw movements. An occlusal splint (dental guard) will help.

3. Both these conditions can co-exist. ETD is more likely following colds or allergy. TMJ is more likely due to bruxism.

4. Ear tumours are rare, hence unlikely. They can also be easily ruled out with hearing tests and Temporal Bone CT+MRI Scans.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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