ZocdocAnswersWhat would cause jaw pain when drinking alcohol?

Question

What would cause jaw pain when drinking alcohol?

The pain is in front of my ears, where the jaw is connected. I use to have the pain when I was younger if I ate something that I was craving, my mouth would water and my jaw would cramp. Now I get it randomly and mostly when I drink alcohol, and normally only with the first glass. It lasts for about 15 minutes or more.

Answer

Sorry to hear about your problem. There are several different things that can cause pain in the jaw, and it is important to discuss your question with your doctor. Your medical history may offer clues to helping him or her help you. The region that you seem to be describing has many different things that can cause pain. Some of the more common problems that can happen in this region include first bite syndrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, and obstruction of a salivary gland that lies in this region. The first is usually found in those who have undergone facial surgery in the past, and occurs due to innervation problems. The second is extremely common, and is often associated with popping or clicking in the jaw when eating, especially when the mouth is open wide. It is commonly associated with bruxism, or grinding of the teeth. The last describes any obstruction of the parotid or other salivary glands that surround your oral cavity. With or without obstruction, some people are prone to having paresthesias with salivation, such as would occur when eating or drinking. There are many other possibilities as well. Given the range of possibilities, please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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