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When I drink alcohol my jaw starts to hurt right under my ears, it feels like the pain you get when you blow up balloons. Of course if I continue drinking I never feel the pain, but it happens after the first two drinks or so EVERYTIME I drink. Is there some sort of allergic reaction to alcohol or what?

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This happens to me too. Seems to happen only after the 1st drink to two, then it's not an issue. I don't drink that often, maybe every few weeks.

I've had jaw trouble before from grinding my teeth when i sleep (a retainer corrected this in HS), is this related in anyway?

Thanks.
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Ditto. I feel it is a preservative that is causing this. It happens when I drink certain wines and beers. I have mostly stopped drinking because of it. The pain can really be unbearable for me.
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The symptoms you describe here are almost certainly a form of "ectopic" pancreatitis. The cells of the Parotid salivary gland are very similar to those of the pancreas, and they respond to the same stimuli. The pancreas "hates" alcohol. It causes it to swell and leak its own enzymes, particularly amylase and this effectively starts the process of auto digestion. You are digesting your own tissue, hence the pain!! There is no cure and no treatment, just don't drink alcohol. The facial nerve also runs through the parotid gland and when swelling of the Parotid gland is triggered by a stimulus such as alcohol, this swelling can push on the facial nerve causing pain.
The symptoms may lessen if you eat when you drink as then the marjority of the amylase produced by the salivary gland is diverted to the stomach and GI tract to digest the food.
I hope this helps
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Actually this happens to me and my brother, but I don't think the reason above explains it. I drink beer quite often and it ONLY happens to me on the first 1-2 beers and I MUST be eating. If I don't eat food with my first 1-2 beers, it doesn't happen at all. It is very weir, but VERY painful.
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my teeth only hurt the day after drinking, it happens almost every time. It doesnt matter if i have wine, beer, vodka or what not it still hurts. I went to my g.p and it was said that along with other symptoms, it can be a sign of cancer within the blood....but i dont have the other symptoms so im ok.
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I have the same problem with alcohol mouth wash. After using it second times within 12 hr my left back jaw started to swelling.
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It sounds to me like it would be a good idea to lay off alcohol if you are having symptoms like this. I don't know what the cause is although it could be a cavity (which might be more sensitive to ethanol) or something like that. In either case, I wish you luck in being able to figure out what this is. Hvae you seen a doctor about it? Keep me posted.
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I have had this too but it's only recently began, I did not drink for years and had minor jaw problems prior to this. I do get migraines that are usually related to weather changes. My jaw was hurting with beer or wine, but I just had a martini the other day and it began to twinge a bit. If it hurts it usually starts after the first few sips. I have noticed it's worse with lower grain alcohols that have warnings about sulfides particularly malt liquors like wine coolers. I am not a dr but I do pay attention to my body and I think the key may be in the fermenting process or sulfides. I went to a wine tasting and only consumed an ounce of probably 10 different wines and I never had a problem, where otherwise I've almost given up wine comepletely due to the pain. I don't think this is an alcohol consumption problem, I don't binge drink or drink daily or even weekly. I think it may be an alergy to something in most alcohol. I am alergic to nuts. I'm curious if the others have other food sensitivities. TMJ a jaw condition does run in my family, as well, so that may be related.
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I have this exact same issue of pain in my jaw after drinking certain alcoholic beverages. I'm also a medical student and thought I should dig into it. I found some information on sulfa allergies causing reactions to the high amount of sulfites in wine. I can't tell you about whether or not beer or certain liquors contain high levels of sulfites, but it would not surprise me. I'd be interested to find out if other people who replied to this thread are also allergic to sulfa drugs?
P.S. I just want to point out that being allergic to sulfa drugs does not mean that you should avoid all foods with sulfites, just that certain foods with high levels of sulfites might cause this reaction.
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I also feel the same pain with beer or wine. I suffered from the mumps whe I was on my early 20s, and I can only identify the pain with that of the mumps, exactly in the same area. I also know that is not like a cavity type of pain because I also had a root canal in my mid 20s so I can tell the difference having experince both infections as a young adult. However; I was at the doctor's less than 2 weeks ago and he told me that it could be allergic reaction to alcohol but, I am not a 100% sure of that since, it doesn't happen every time that I drink. I had a shinner bock beer with my dinner tonight which included some hot wings and chilli's egg rolls, and didn't feel the pain. I notice though that it hurts when I am stressed or it has been a while since I had a glass of wine or a beer. For example; I had some beer on Saturday and I didn't feel anything, I was drinking a light beer. After a long trip back home on Sunday I had 1 beer also light with lime, and it started hurting a lot.
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I get this, but only on occasion. I have it now after having a rum so decided to Google it.

It used to happen a lot me a couple of years ago, but only when drinking wine. I've never had it when drinking beer.

I don't drink a lot, but normally on a Friday night (I'm on holiday tomorrow, so it is my Friday night) I'll have a glass of my decent quality dark rum on the rocks. This is the first time it has happened for a long while and it happen after I had eaten.

Very strange... a friends wife is a MD so I might ask her next time I see them!
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i have sharp pains in my jaw sometimes when i drink wine (which is maybe once a week) - been going on for several years. i asked my dentist about it recently, and he said it may be a reaction in my salivary glands to the tannins in wine, but he also admitted that was just a guess - he didn't really know. interesting thought about the sulfa/sulfite possibility though - i AM allergic to sulfas. hmmm...
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I have the same problem, but mostly only with sweet drinks and almost never with beer. It also happens when I drink something oversweetened, like iced tea or lemonade.
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In reply to the person who mentioned the allergy to sulfa drugs, I do have allergies to sulfa drugs and experience this! However, the first time I noticed it was with Dos Equis...I have drank Coors and other beers where it was not a problem (and I really do not drink a lot). However, with Dos Equis, I notice that it does not start right away, but after a while it will, making me think that you could be right about the allergy thing. But, I would have to do research on the sulfide level as this wouldn't make sense unless Dos Equis contained a higher amount than the other beers or something like that.

The reason I finally googled this today is because I haven't had an alcoholic drink at all today and I randomly feel as if my glands very slightly feel that way right now. So that's another weird thing.

Either way, all the possibilities of why this happens do not seem to be very good!! :-(
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