painful swelling in front of ear when eating

I ran across this site trying to dx. myself after far too many failed attempts by Drs. & Dentists. At times when eating the left side of my face swells as well as the bone along my lower jaw area. At times it is extremely painful, but eventually subsides. Recently while in the hosptal it happened so I called my nurse to see it. A CT was ordered but showed nothing. The swelling gets very large, makes my face also feel numb. ENT & Drntist also find nothing, but this happens many times a month. The swelling is very hard, only happens while eating and is at times very painful. This has been going on for 4 years now. Anyone, any ideas??? I am sooooo desperate for some clues. Docs are making me feel like a hypochondriac!!! Ugh!!

Edited August 26, 2011 at 6:02 am

Report post

16 replies. Join the discussion

I wonder if this could be similar to trigeminal neuralgia with facial muscle spasms? I'm no doc for sure but it sounds close to me. Good luck, I hope you find relie soon.


Report post

Thx for your reply, I looked up your idea, however it really doesnt fit what I have been experiencng. Close though, but no cigar... no pun intended. :) On the inside of my mouth... lower jaw between my teeth and cheek there is a inch long hard swollen spot that never goes away. If I press on my face right in front of my ear I have a strange sensation... hard to explain, almost a small swollen area running down from my ear to my lower jaw... almost feels numb. That is there ALL the time. It almost feels like a Dr. injected the area with a numbng agent... as I stayed t's very difficult to explain... but I'm tryng :)
Thx again for taking time out of your day to try and help, it is much appreciated. :)


Report post

Well I wrote you but looks like it didnt take. So short version is, email my brother Marko at and ask him the name of the water he brews to help him with the same sort of pain you are having. He too had dentists and drs and Mri or Cat scan and nothing was found.
He brews me water and has me taking it for Scarcoid. I find it helps me clear out mucus, not sure what else but it's suppose to help with infection but I will say I am a distributor for green tea. I have not been sick for a year and 6 months. I began drinking my tea (which comes in 30 flavors) 3 years ago. I have energy 20 mins after I drink if not sooner. It's not a rush energy but last up to about 4 hours. So I drink two teas a day.
It has been great for my immune system.....not a fever, cold, sniffle for 18 months! This tea is made in Utah, my home area. I have posted this information before but only got one person who wanted sample. I sent it and she had gotton sick and hadn't tried it. I am not trying to get business but I know Scard and how it effects us. This tea has been a life enhancer for me, I have energy and come on not sick for 18 months!
I am now sending out samples, you can text me if you would like some samples.
801-891-3046 my website for information about this tea is this site will tell you the bennefits of tea and why this tea is like 50 cups of tea mixed in 8 to 12 ozs of water. Tea in Japan is drank all the time, they have the lowest cancer rate and are healthy. Hey, I also got Marko on the tea, he doesnt have scardosis but he has diabetes and he noticed how the tea helps him with diabetes. So, me and my brother are helping each other. I am on no meds. except for is underactive. I hope we help you when the Drs. cant.

Report post

sounds to me like a blocked salivary gland...but sorry I don't know how they would test for it...

Report post

I have a similar thing that happens. My dr said it is from the predisone? Could this be your issue? My swelling is on outside right above jaw and below temple. Anyway, just an idea.

Report post

It is so frustrating to know that something is there but nobody seems to know what it is!

I have 3 suggestions, based on experiences that I have had. 1) It could be a sebacious cyst. 2) It could be an enlarged lymph node. I had one in college and had gone to 3 different dentist. It showed on no tests (but it could be felt...hard, like a rock) and the oral surgeon was about to open it up for exploration when he pulled his hand back. He remembered that I had burned my hand right before my wisdom tooth was extracted months earlier and this could be an infection. It was not at the site of the wisdom tooth, which is why nobody suspected it. Apparently, the gland was from my upper neck but had grown into my jaw. Antibiotics cleared it up. 3) Trigeminal neuralgia, or any of the facial neuralgias/neuropothies. TN presents itself in many different manners so it's difficult to say. Your pain doesn't sound like TN but it could very well be. It does not show on MRI/MRA in 85% of people so it's hard to say. I went through a total of 10 medical/dental professionals before a neurologist diagnosed it. He diagnosed it simply from symptoms and reaction to anti seizure medication (Tegretol).

I wish you good findings!

Report post

Thx for your response. :) I drink Green Tea 24/7 :) I'm sure it's not exactly what you have, but I also have to be careful as years ago I had kidney stones whch tea is famous for producing. I have to (should be) very careful with my diet ntake as I have 5 Cardiac Stents. My Cardiologist gets very 'testy' some days given my diet. Do you have any literature on the tea?? Thx agan ;)


Report post

beaglefan, That was my 1st thought after prowling the internet the first time it happened to me. While in the hospital recently and it happened while aving lunch I was almost happy!! I thought finally a medical person can see it happen from start to finish. The nuse did see it and felt it was my Parotid Gland. She had one hell of a time convincing my Primary but finally got a CT Scan ordered, whch showed nothing! Don't get me wrong, I don't need stuff wrong with me, but I need to get to the bottom of this. It's frustrating to say the least. I tend to agree with you but the difficult part is when it happens and my face swells I am of course not at the Drs., and by the time I went to the ER and actually saw a Dr. the swelling has gone down and they would look at me like I have 12 heads... lol. I'm gong to get my med. records from this most recent hospitalizaton and read the CT Scan report for myself. I can't understand how I KNOW something is there, bt yet no Dr. can find anything.

Thx again


Report post

Hi Sniffles,

What you are discribing does not sound like sarcoidosis, and I pray for your sake it is not. I do hope you get some help and get the problem solved. It sounds to me that if they can figure it out they can cure it. Sarc can't be cured.

Since the act of chewing seems to make it worse, have you considered seeing a chiropractor? It may be a miss alignment of your jaw that is pinching a nerve. If it were me I would be checking it out.

God's speed
DJ in Calif

Report post

I do want to thank all of you who have responded, offering your ideas and opinions of what is happening to me. It's a lot more than have got from my Primary, my Cardio, and my Pain Mgt. Drs. I fired my Primary after my last hospitalization... he wouldnt even spend 2 minutes n my room, in and out and I thought he was being extremely 'curt' with me. When I initially got him, he was nice, caring, compassionate.... took his time, answered my questions, everything one would want in any Dr. He was the one who gave me my referral to my Pain Mgt.Dr. for the 4 ruptured discs I have now and the Titanium cage in my back (L5-S1) my first spinal sx. in 2006. y which The 4 ruptures I have now are the discs right above my Titanium cage. I dont have my MRI report in front of me, Im flat on the floor with my laptop and just cant up to get it to write the details, plus this isnt pain management so I digrress.... sorry, pain does that to me. My Primary bascally ignored my facial swelling other than order a cat scan which they say showed NOTHING!! :( Sigh.....Even tho my nurse SAW and FELT the swelling!!!! Lomg story short, he told my nurse no more pain meds when I hadnt asked for andmuch for NY dR. she told him I didnt. My roon was right in front of the nurses station so I heard her, and asked whwn she came to check on my facial swelling.... telling me without telling me, my Primary accused me of trying to get pain meds which makes no sense as I am in pain mgt., he referred me!!! At my age I think that was a bit forany Dr. especially since I had been his pt. almost 5 yrs. I lost my job due to being in the hospiyal 4 times back to back.... mssed my pain mgt att.the first of the month and now am waiting till Sept. 13 for the soonest appt which I will discuss ALL of this with him at that time. Im a mess, left side of my face swells more now when I eat... cant move as I missed my pain mgt. appt....lost ,u ins. I had thru my job... ya'll know the plight..we've all been there. In 4-6 days my power will be cut off unless unemployment comes in. All agencies I call have NO funds to assit...but Im blessed, I have a roof over my head. my loving daughter, and LIFE.... and the caring ppl here who have done their best to help... ya'll are AWESOME. Sooooooooo, if I disapper its only until I can get my power back on. am so happy everyday I fond all of you, I will be back as soon as I can, and hopefully be able to help others as all of you gave ne your support. Bless ALL of you...... Thx soooooo much. It is a blessing to know others care about strangers..... yes, together we WILL make it....... Thank all of you again..


Report post

Hi, Do anyone had or have a parotid tumor, and if so did you have surgery please give me your input.

Report post

Check out temporal arteritis...had some similar symptoms and now going thru some horrific symptoms. Getting MRI tomorrow of my brain. Had large lump on side of head. Headaches pressure behind eye, jaw,(when eating and causes pain). Had had temporal artery biopsy. Lingering. But, think lump is my old friend sarkie.

Report post

I just went to er tonight with pain swelling by left ear and around jaw line egg size swelling by the ear. It happened after I ate something they called it parotitis and it is a blocked parotid gland from my salivary gland... probably has a "stone" in it. On antibotics(slight fever) she told me to suck on lemons to produce saliva and drink a lot of water and warm compresses and gently massage it... see my dr. in two days if not gone may have to see an ENT. But as soon as I ate something small today it was swollen again...its uncomfortable. It is just so weird. Happened out of the blue. Hopefully, it will "pass" and I don't have to have any surgery... This sounds like what you are experiencing also.... so get it checked out.. Good luck!

Report post

You may want to look up Heerfordt's Syndrome. I had it once for six mos. caused by my sarc - swellings got as large as small eggs and then began spreading below the jaw and upwards in front of the ears. Doc said since it was bilateral it is most likely sarc. No surgeon would touch it for biopsy because of the strong risk of damaging the facial nerve. Oral pred helped a little but 6mos later and within two weeks of starting pred eye drops for sarc uveitis, it completely disappeared not to retun so far - that was 5 yrs ago.


Report post

Sounds like a blocked salivary gland. When a salivary gland is blocked and we think about eating or are eating, we salivate. If a salivary gland is blocked it can't release the saliva but will swell up during eating or during times we think about eating certain foods, like a lemon drop.

When my son was about 17 he told me he had something wrong in his mouth. I took a look and there was a huge swelling protruding from under his tongue. It looked for all the world like the swelling a bullfrog gets .

Long story short it was a ranula (which means bullfrog ) caused by a blocked salivary gland. He had oral surgery to have it removed. Was the size of a small orange.

If in fact you have a blocked gland and there's nowhere for it to expand to, it could be swelling up completely near your jaw casing pain when the gland fills with saliva but has nowhere to expand to. It would not show up on a CT, at least I don't think it would.

Might be worth looking into.


Report post

Hey, the website for the green tea made here in Utah is

This website has lots of good information about green tea. Currently I am using it to lose 20 pounds, so I am taking 3 pixies a day.
It has kept me from diabetes and has reduced percriptions for diabetics or elimated it all together for some users. I heard from several people how in 4 months of taking the tea, their Drs. have reduced their diabetes med.

Check out the information on the website. Did you ever email my brother who had simular pain?

I hope you are progressing, my prayers are with you.

801-891-3046 in case you have questions about the tea.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support FSR

Help the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research

Discussion topics

Help and information from FSR

Sarcoidosis and the Body
Sarcoidosis is a "multiorgan" disease - meaning it almost always involves more than one organ. It's unpredictable and affects different people in different ways.

You can learn about the ways in which sarcoidosis affects the body in FSR's Sarcoidosis and the Body brochure.

Community leaders