My Ear Hurts! What Does This Mean?

Ear Pain

Does this sound familiar….”My ear hurts but I have gone to the doctor several times begging for an antibiotic and he keeps telling me that my ear looks fine!”

This is more common than you may think.  Many of my patients have complained about this.  They present with severe ear pain and pressure, some eye pain or pressure, pain around the temple area, and sometimes sensitive upper teeth.  How could this not be an infection of some sort….right?  Well the truth is, you may be suffering from temporal tendonitis.

What is Temporal Tendonitis?

Temporal Tendonitis is a craniofacial pain disorder affecting the temporal tendon.  The temporal tendon is a tendon that connects your temporalis muscle (muscle on the side of your head and near your temple area) with your lower jaw on the coronoid process.

Temporalis Muscle attaches to the lower jaw (mandible) on the Coronoid Process by the Temporal Tendon

Classic Symptoms of Temporal Tendonitis are:

temporal pain, TMJ pain, Eye pain, Ear Pain and Pressure, and sensitivity of upper maxillary teeth.

What Causes Temporal Tendonitis?

Temporal Tendonitis is often caused by trauma (eating hard foods, dental work, etc..), loss of vertical dimension of occlusion (the distance between your nose and chin is shorter than it was when you were younger – you are becoming over-closed), chronic parafunction (your bite is off and your teeth do not come together appropriately), and/or hypertrophy of the coronoid process (your coronoid process, a part of your lower jaw, becomes larger than it once was).

How Do You Treat Temporal Tendonitis?

Treatment of temporal tendonitis can involve multiple processes, such as, anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen), muscle relaxants, soft diet, splints/orthotics, physical therapy, biofeedback if clenching related, and/or injection therapy with a long lasting local anesthetic and a steroid, sarapin, or prolotherapy.

If you believe that you may be suffering from Temporal Tendonitis, we can help you!  Call us today for an evaluation and treatment and be DONE with that EAR PAIN once and for all!

Dr. Tracy Davidian

Fellow of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain

Fellow of the Las Vegas Institute of Neuromuscular Dentistry

919-366-PAIN (7246)

3 comments Add yours.

  • Michael Keys

    I’ve been telling Dr’s for years my right temple , just between my right eye and ear feels like it could explode. I’ve even suggested putting a needle in and sucking out the pressure.
    It only happens in my right temple. Any time I get a sinus infection.
    I’m on my 2nd zpac but it dont seem to be helping my ear or temple

    4 years ago

  • Gaurav

    Michael Keys, I feel exactly the same thing. Just put a needle and suck out the mucous. Thankfully now I no what the problem is.

    3 years ago

  • Kimberly

    I do I have major headaches. Just about ever day I get up with one and I been thinking it’s sinus I had the surgery but did not help so I suffer daily I do have a under bit and I hurt above my eyes in my temples my ears feel weird at times like they may have fluid and my jaws hurts like a sore feeling

    2 years ago

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