Posted 2/10/2019 11:04 PM (GMT -6)
Ear pain can be caused by referred pain not directly attributable to the ear.
You mention that you grandson has seen several specialists. Is he being seen at a children’s hospital or by a designated pediatric service? I ask because children are not small adults. Health needs of children are best served by pediatric specialists.
I would encourage your daughter to research a pediatric hospital or designated pediatric service in one of the Bay areas’s metropolitan hospitals that is contracted as an in-network provider with her medical insurance.
Possible sources of ear pain:
1. Parotid gland (inflammation, fluid drainage occlusion)
2. Tonsils and adenoids (tonsil stones, chronic inflammation, bacterial overgrowth)
3. Dental (bruxism, teeth grinding, sustained tension of the jaw muscles, malocclusion and alignment, tempormandibular joint dysfunction and biomechanics or closing/opening of the jaw, oral crowding due to back molars or underlying wisdom teeth).
I would have your daughter focus on a finding a competent pediatric dentist and/or a pediatric ENT.
At 13 years of age, your grandson’s facial bones are still growing and maturing. He still has growth hormone influences. He may be experiencing bone growing pain as well as and TMJ tracking “hiccups” (where the TMJ joint does not glide smoothly) due to subtle facial bone changes as his facial skeleton matures.
A removable, acrylic upper or lower mouth guard would be something to consider. A custom molded mouth guard is fabricated with the purpose of aligning the jaw/mouth in position of relaxed comfort where overly tense jaw muscles can relax. The jaw is one of the body’s most active joints. It closes and opens hundreds of times in a day - biting, chewing, speech and talking, yawning, showing expression of feelings (a frown, a smile).
Does your grandson wear ear phones when listening to music on an iPhone or iPod? External ear phones might be a source of pain.
Any history of recurrent ear infections as a baby? Placement of ear tubes as a baby?
Dental, teeth, and jaw issues are common source of ear pain.
Tonsils, adenoids, and parotid glands would also be a consideration.