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Pain while opening mouth widely. Right side near ear feels tender and hurts. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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I have pain when opening my mouth widely.I noticed that the right side close to my ear feels tender and it hurts when I tried to stick out my tongue that I could not anymore see my tonsils. What is this? Thanks.
Posted Sun, 15 Sep 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 56 minutes later
Thanks for the query.
Brief answer.....temporomandibular joint disorder.( TJD ) 
Detailed answer....
It is a very common disorder and generally affects 20-25 % of  population at some or other point of time  in their life.It affects the joint between the lower jaw and skull which is a donut shaped disc.

The causes are...
May be due to injury on jaw joint by some blow
Could be due to osteoarthritis of jaw
Sometimes inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout can cause it
Strong clenching of jaw can also cause it.

Treatment involves ...
Resting the joint by eating soft food
Avoiding chewing gum
Hot fomentation locally
Avoiding wide opening of mouth
Avoiding resting your chin on your hand
Local massaging
Use of anti inflammatories like ibuprofen 400 mg three times for 7-10 days.

Generally condition becomes all right in few months with this conservative approach but sometimes a severe pain may require a local steroid injections or even surgical intervention.

You need to consult a dentist or a ENT specialist for proper evaluation and management.
I hope it helps however you may revert to me for any further query.
Best of luck
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