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Dental Anesthesia

Sharp Pain Behind Ear from Anesthesia

01/05/2010

Question:

Every time, over many years, multiple dentists... EVERY time I get an injection in the mandibular "corner" of my mouth, there is a very sharp, intense pain under my ear. It intensifies as the anesthesia is being administered and is sore in that area for days afterwards. Reminds me of having the mumps. None of my dentists can figure it out. Happens on either side of the mouth. Any ideas?

Answer:

Thank you for this very interesting question. I understand your question to be: When I receive local anesthesia for lower jaw dental work, there is sharp pain under my ear which then persists as a dull, aching pain for some time thereafter. This is consistent with injection from side to side and with different dentists.

 

It is not clear to me exactly what "under the ear means".  The only possibility I can entertain that this is referred pain from the muscle that the needle goes through, the medial pterygoid, such as can occur with myofascial trigger point. This fits the symptom set at least. This would be most likely if you were a tooth clincher or grinder or had some pain with chewing on occasion but could happen without this. Otherwise, I am not sure what to make of this! I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University