Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Monday, March 1, 2010

EAR PAIN: What to do when the ENT says there is no infection and does not have a treatment to relieve ear pain.

When chronic or acute ear pain occurs an evaluation by an otolaryngologist or ENT is a good way to begin treatment. The exception to this rule is when movements of the lower jaw cause the ear pain or the motion of the lower jaw is limited. This is a sign of a TMJ disorder. If it happens suddenly it may be the sign of an acute close-lock of the TM Joint and a dentist with experience in treating temporomandibular disorders is a must. Neuromuscular Dentistry is extremely effective in treating chronic haeadaches, migraines, Tension Headaches and TMD but when an acute close lock occurs time is of the essence to prevent permanent damage.

Many neuromuscular dentists know how to manage the chronic pain aspect of TMD but are less sure of handling an acute disk dislocation.

The wrong treatment is to not attempt to reduce the dislocation, taking anti-inflamatories or pain meds without attempting to reduce the dislocation. The longer the disk is out the more likely there will be permanent damage or internal derangement of the TMJ.

A trip to the emergency room is usually non-productive or may even create additional damage if they try to force the jaw open.

A simple method to reduce a close-lock it to stimulate a strong gag reflex which will sometimes reduce the dislocation. It is then necessary to stabilize the joint with an orthotic.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 7:36 PM

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