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Elmwood Park, NJ
A 38-year-old female asked:

what is the difference between ear pain from an ear infection vs tmj?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
TMJ vs Ear Infection: They may feel the same to you and it is not something that you can self diagnose. See both your PCP or ENT specialist and a dentist with knowledge of TMD\TMJ issues to find out what's going on in your particular case. It's not inconceivable that one has both problems at the same time.
Dr. Louis Cooper
Pediatrics 48 years experience
Ear infection pain is usually associated with pain on swallowing. TMJ hurts more when you try to open your mouth or chew.
Aug 31, 2014
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
TMJ: Apples versus oranges. One is due to the inflammation of infection, the other is an anatomic derangement producing pain from malalignment of the joint space . One has nothing to do with the other.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 36 years experience
Earache vs TMJ: An earache is a sharp, dull, or burning pain in one or both ears caused by an ear infection. About 50% of patients with a TMJ disorder have ear pain and do not have signs of ear infection, because of the referral pain. The cause of the pain and the site of the pain is different. Proper diagnosis is the key to successful treatment. See orofacial pain specialist for evaluation.
Dr. David Duncan m.d.
Family Medicine 42 years experience
Often the same.: both are caused by swelling tissue sending electric signal to brain "Houston, there is a problem". One comes from the jaw joint and one from inner or outer ear. The brain changes these signals into pain. It can make both of them feel the same. Evaluation with someone who specializes in TMJ might be helpful and protect you from useless antibiotics.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 45 years experience
Similar: Similar. Hard to tell apart just by symptoms. I've seen quite a few "earaches" caused by TMJ that were treated by MDs for "ear infection" even after looking in the ear. An examination by an astute clinician can easily differentiate.

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Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to have an ear infection without ear pain?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mandakini Patel
Pediatrics 41 years experience
Ear infection/pain : Usually infection in your middle ear can cause sever pain, if you have outer ear infection you will have pain as well. The only time you cna have middle ear infection and no pain is when the pressure build up in your middle ear causes the ear drum to rupture & the pressure is released and you will have no pain.

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Last updated Aug 19, 2018

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