Dental

Hx: More than 5 yrs ago, I heard a crackling in my right ear…

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Hx: More than 5...

Hx: More than 5 yrs ago, I heard a crackling in my right ear and that immediately led to my tympanic membrane bursting. I didn't even have an earache...no pain whatsoever before this happened. My ear began bleeding. In the months following, I felt as if there was some crystallization deep down in my... Read full answer

Hx: More than 5 yrs ago, I heard a crackling in my right ear and that immediately led to my tympanic membrane bursting. I didn't even have an earache...no pain whatsoever before this happened. My ear began bleeding. In the months following, I felt as if there was some crystallization deep down in my ear along my neck behind my jaw. Fast forward a few years and I have had several incidents where my salivary glands below my ears became SO painful, like when eating something really sour, but 50x worse for no reason...when I am not eating anything. This has happened about 4x's in last 4 yrs. I had a back/bottom capped molar pulled earlier this year that we [dentist and I] thought was a loose cap. I had been experiencing off and on pain with that tooth for the last several years so when dentist went to pull cap off, the whole tooth came out. Now, in the past few months, I experience SEVERE pain sometimes when eating, as my jaw will clamp down on something below my right ear sending me into TEARS instantly. I know for a fact this is not TMJ. There is something my jaw is smashing. A few weeks ago this happened and it felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick SO BADLY that I cried for a long time and just curled up and went to bed. Yesterday it happened twice, and today once. I am in SO much pain and now I cannot bring my teeth together. What might be going on? Could my tooth have caused an infection long ago I wasn't aware of that caused a structural change in my ear anatomy?

Doctor's Assistant: How much are your gums bleeding? Only when brushing and flossing, or even when not?

??

Doctor's Assistant: What confuses you?

I am talking about my ear not gums

Doctor's Assistant: Can you see or feel anything else in your mouth that is causing concern?

No

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Answered in 2 hours by:
11/13/2018
Dr. Josh
Dr. Josh, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 139
Experience: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Resident
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Hello. I am reviewing your information and will respond shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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I am sorry to hear you have been struggling with these symptoms for some time. It sounds as though recently it has really affected your life. I am sorry about that. Without being able to do a physical exam, it is difficult to ascertain the cause of your symptoms. Given this has been going on for a significant period of time, I would recommend seeing an oral & maxillofacial surgeon or ENT doctor. They are the expert in the anatomy that is giving your problems right now. It is impossible to say without an exam and x rays if this is from your ear or your temporomandibular joint. I suspect, given the change in your bite, this is related to your temporomandibular joint (the ball and socket joint near your ear). You may have something called disk displacement without reduction. There is a disc that normally fits between the ball and socket joint of your lower jaw (this is immediately adjacent to your ear canal and can feel like it is within your ear). This disc can become displaced and cause severe pain, problems with your teeth coming together and the other symptoms your mentioned. The best way to evaluate this problem is with an MRI of the TMJ. Screening films with a Panorex and CBCT can also be helpful to determine the cause. I think the first step would be to see an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon that treats patients that have dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. I hope this is helpful. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Dr. Josh
Dr. Josh, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 139
Experience: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Resident
Verified
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I really believe this is something more of a salivary gland problem than bone. It feels more of a fleshy issue than bone, as it is in the same area where sourness affects a response. Thanks for giving it a shot.

Of course. It is my pleasure. Thank you for using JustAnswer. An MRI (although expensive) is the best imaging to evaluate salivary glands as well. The disk is a soft tissue and when its displaced causes you to be unable to bring your teeth together. The salivary gland by your ear (parotid gland) can get stones and infection and cause ear pain but it would be accompanied by an inability to close your teeth together.

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