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Tonsil pain on one side, along with ear fullness
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JasonCF posted:
First, let me list everything I have:

--Only my left tonsil is enlarged and hurts at various times, like when I get stressed out or when I bend my neck, where my chin is touching my chest for more than about 10 minutes. I am also snoring very loudly at night. I seem to sleep better and quieter when I sleep in a reclining chair instead of sleeping in my bed. The tonsil does *not* necessarily hurt when I swallow, although it slightly from time to time. The tonsil is not white. It seems like it hurts more on some days and less on others. This has been going on for a couple of months.

--My left ear has a slight fullness to it and "pops" or "crackles" just a tad when I swallow, more so than in the other ear.



--I have had some nasal and sinus issues for years, like a constant runny nose, particularly in the morning.

--A tooth on my upper-left side (right beside where my wisdom tooth was) that was crowned years ago, and the gum around it has been puffy intermittently ever since; a dentist is going to take a look and hopefully fix that issue in about a week. The dentist said that it could *potentially* be causing my sinus issues because of which tooth has the puffiness. I also have some other dental work that needs to be done on the left side, including one tooth extraction on the bottom-left side.

--I told my primary-care doctor about my issues a month ago, and he put me on a 10-day run of antibiotics, but I have not noticed much difference. It has been about two weeks since I took my last antibiotic pill.

--I went to an ENT about two weeks ago, and he said that my tonsils are enlarged and *may* need to come out, but he honestly did not seem very concerned and said to come back in about 2 months if I was not asymptomatic.

--On a possibly related note, my ENT also said he believes I have TMJ based on my jaw popping, and it does feel like my jaw has a dull pain sometimes, but I can't tell if it's really my jaw or my teeth.

So, my question is this: is there *any* way my teeth issues could be, directly or indirectly, causing my tonsil issues? I am just looking for some peace of mind. If there is some possibility that fixing my teeth and gums will fix the tonsil issue, then I can wait a couple of weeks for those issues to be resolved before I do anything else with my tonsil.

On the other hand, if there is basically no possibility that the teeth/gum issues are causing my tonsil to be swollen and to hurt, then I probably need to pursue additional avenues with my tonsil.

I am a 29 year-old male and a bit overweight. I have had acid reflux in the past, although that seems to have subsided as I have changed my eating and exercising patterns.
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JasonCF responded:
Oh, and the primary-care doctor I saw about a month ago said he saw a tiny bit of infection in my ear but not much. He gave me some antibiotic ear drops just to be sure, and I have since exhausted those.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Why do they have to be related? A person can have more than one medical problem or condition at the same time that may need to be addressed. Making a "connection" does not really change the fact that you are having some on-going problems, so you may need to prioritize the diagnostic considerations and handle them one at a time, if necessary. Don't you think you will get your dental problems addressed anyway?

Tonsils are lymph tissue, and lymph nodes can respond to infection or inflammation in their immediate anatomical neigborhood. I do not know if dental probems care related to your tonsillar swelling, but if your tonsil(s) are large enough for your ENT to suggest surgery, then this may be something to consider. If you also have TMJ problems, then removing the tonsils will do nothing to help this. You will still have the dental issues....

So, my advice it do fix all of your identifiable problems...one at a time.
 
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JasonCF replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thanks for the reply.

I understand fixing all the issues and agree with the sentiment. I was just asking if a connection between my teeth and tonsil is even a possibility. I mean, approximately how long should I wait to see if the teeth issue alleviates the tonsil issue before I visit the ENT again? Should I wait the full 2 months as he suggested?

In any case, yes, I am definitely getting the teeth fixed this week and next week.

As a side note, I took an allergy pill, Claritin, yesterday around 7 PM for the first time, and today, my tonsil almost does not hurt at all (it did hurt off and on, but it's significantly less and less often). I am not sure if the two events have anything to do with one another, though.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to JasonCF's response:
Whether there is a connection or not, you still have symptoms. I am glad you are getting the dental issues addresses, and pleased that an antihistamine seemed to help the tonsils. Since allergies may be playing a role, maybe it's a good idea to remain on the Claritin for a whiel.
 
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JasonCF replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Quick update for anyone curious:

I got some significant dental work done on Friday (about 3 full days ago). I stopped taking Claritin that day, as well.

So far, my throat hurts significantly less, and I seem to have less nasal congestion. Again, that is so far, so we'll see.

Essentially, my gum was puffy where my wisdom tooth had been removed years ago. The gum itself was slightly tender to the touch but barely perceptible. The periodontist performed a procedure -- the name of which escapes me at the moment -- in which he made an incision in my gum in that area to clean it out. Based on the location of the gum problem, he said that sinus infections were a definite possibility -- and that constant drainage of the sinuses over time could lead to an issue with my tonsils.

I cannot yet claim a victory because it has been only three days since the surgery (i.e., what if I am simply having a good couple of days?), but my condition continues improvement, then I would encourage anyone who has sinus problems and dental issues to at least consider that the dental issues and sinus problems could be potentially related.

As a side note: my "surgery" sounds worse than it was. I was not even sedated. Essentially, my periodontist deadened my mouth enough that I felt almost nothing. It was more uncomfortable than it was painful. Most dentists/periodontists will give you a sedation option, but I usually choose not to be sedated because the idea personally scares me.


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