What would cause pain in the jaw near the ear?

Written by ruth st. james
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What would cause pain in the jaw near the ear?
Jaw and ear pain can signal a serious heart condition (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Q. Thomas Bower)

Jaw pain coupled with a headache can signal some serious conditions that warrant having your doctor check it out. Getting a diagnosis from your dentist is also a wise idea.

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders affect the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull just in front of your ear. TMJ causes can include emotional stress, teeth grinding, arthritis, and poor posture.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pocket of infection in either your tooth or your jawbone. The area around the infection swells, causing pressure on the nerves near your jaw.

Heart Disease

Although it sounds strange, pain in your jaw can indicate a serious heart condition. In some people, especially women, this may be the only warning they have before suffering a heart attack.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are thought to be vascular headaches that affect the trigeminal nerve, the main sensory nerve that controls chewing and sensations in the face. The trigeminal nerve runs from the brainstem into the side of your face.

Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy is pain due to the inflammation of a nerve that travels through a bony tunnel in the side of your face and stimulates facial movement. Symptoms are facial weakness and a drooping eye.

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