White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

I have chronic pain around my ears. What should I do?

More than 15 percent of adults live with some form of chronic facial pain, according to the American Dental Association. Discomfort around or in the ears is one of the more common symptoms. Others include tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises that accompany opening the mouth, headaches and neck aches.

If you experience any of this discomfort, see your dentist. With a thorough exam that might include X-rays, your dentist will likely be able to pinpoint the source of the problem and recommend a corrective course of action. If the pain is near the ears, the problem may be in the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, which is in front of the ears.

The source of the pain may be something easily recognizable, like a sinus infection, a decayed tooth or the beginning stage of gum disease. Your dentist will know the best way to attack the problem. The treatment may be something as simple as stress-reducing exercises or a prescription for muscle relaxants. Give your dentist the opportunity to help.

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