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Straight Teeth Talk: Ear Pain and Teeth

By By Mac Lee
July 1, 2014 at 2:01 a.m.

An X-ray of a patient being treated by Dr. Mac Lee.

Pain is not normal. Severe, constant pain robs people of their everyday life. Finding the source of pain can be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to the head and neck. Backaches are the No. 1 reason patients seek out a doctor, and head and neck pain is second, so it is quite common.

You can't see pain in an X-ray. A patient was having extreme pain on the left side. The pain was radiating from around the ear. There was no decayed teeth, no bone loss nor any type of infection; yet the pain was so severe, it was all she could think about.

The area around the ear is extremely complex, consisting of the temporomandibular joint, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and the most complex nerve system in the body - the trigeminal nerve. Not only is this area complicated and intricate, but it is also the most used joint and muscle system in the body.

Because of its complexity, the system of chewing, eating, swallowing, clenching and talking needs needs to be in balance. When unbalanced, a common result is severe muscle pain caused by trigger points or muscle spasms.

Most over-the-counter pain medicine or prescription drugs are bought because of mild to severe headaches. Many contribute the pain to allergies, stress, sinus, etc., but it can initiate from the spasms in the head. Frequently, the drugs do not eliminate the pain, which leads to taking more pills more frequently and never eliminating the pain.

Dr. Mac Lee practices in Edna. He is a international speaker to dentists and is an adviser to Dr. Mehmet Oz. To learn more, visit drmaclee.com or call 361-782-7191.

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