Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Includes Expert Content
Ear pain related to canker sore?
jmc2231 posted:
I've had a really bad canker sore on my tongue (actually, on the underneath side of my tongue) for about 4 or 5 days now. In an attempt to speed up the healing process I've been rinsing my mouth with Listerine, but last night once the Listerine hit my canker sore it hurt so bad and a pain shot to my ear and I had this throbbing pain in my ear (same side of my head as the canker sore). Today, my ear still hurts a little...mostly when I talk, yawn, cough, etc. I'm guessing the two pains are connected, but I'm wondering if I did any damage?
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
No, you did not likely damage your ear, but pain in the mouth/tongue can cause pain to be neurologically referred to the ears (due to nerve pathways). Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) can also cause tenderness and swelling in the lymph nodes, and this can cause referred ear pain as well.

I can't examine your ear to be sure, but I suspect your ear is just feeling the pain originating in your mouth.
inboston responded:
Thank you very much for the medical reply to the person with the canker sore on tongue. I have similar situation, with partially blocked ears and ear ringing. My (new) follow-up question is to what extent there is any risk if I continue to "ride out" the inflamed canker sore (which I assume is due to its location on side of tongue, along my teeth)? Should I be worried about protecting my ears in any way?

Thanks for your opinion.

Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
You may be having "referred ear pain"....

Because of nerve pathways and lymph node responses, any number of conditions involving the mouth, throat, teeth, etc. can cause pain to be tranferred to the ear. I suspect that if you felt around your neck and under your jaw, especially near the TMJ area, you may even find a tender, reactive lymph node.

Once the canker sore (aphthous ulcer) settles down, and the inflammation subsides, your ear may feel back to normal. If not, you need to see your medical provider so you can be properly examined.
LuvMyCockapoo replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thanks for your explanation. I have had swollen and tender lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and pain in my left ear for 6 long days. Even the roots of my back teeth have had intermittent pain all week. The canker sore is on the left side, in the back, underneath my tongue. Menopause symptoms (Significant hot flashes) started approx 2 days prior to the canker sore. I wonder if the hormones are related to this slow healing process.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LuvMyCockapoo's response:
Hormone, namely estrogen or the lack of estrogen, should not interfere with healing. If your symptoms persist, please see your medical provider so you can be properly examined.
Peacee52 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I have had canker sores off and on on the right side of my mouth for the past 10 weeks. I went to the Dr several weeks ago and he gave me a prescription for Keflex, but it did not clear it up. Now I am having ear pain too. I have a dental appointment for next week, is it all right to wait until then to have this condition checked out? (I have never smoked)

Thanks for any help or suggestions!
Annie_WebMD_Staff replied to Peacee52's response:
Hi Peacee52,

As you are replying to a discussion that is more than a year old, I would invite you to repost your question as a new discussion. Simply mouse over the orange "Post Now" button and then click on Discussion. That will open a new edit box window where you can type in your questions.

Click on the orange "Submit" button and your question should appear fairly quickly on the board (there has been some known lag issues).

I hope that helps.

- Annie
Check out Dr Moser's Family Webicine blog!
sammiemjames replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
I have canker sores on my tongue and have ear ache the same side is this an ear infection or pain from the canker sore on the same side of my tongue cause I also have a wet cough too

Helpful Tips

helps you feel better
Every time I feel under the weather I start drinking chamomile and peppermint teas with lemon and drinking it will its still steaming. I ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 2 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.