The ear shares nerves with other nearby structures including the
face, eyes, jaw, teeth, and upper neck. Pain that feels as if it is in the ear
may actually originate in another structure in the head or neck. This is called
referred ear pain and is more common in older adults. While ear infections can
occur in adults, other causes of ear pain are more likely, including:
Diseases of the joints and muscles of the jaw
(temporomandibular [TM] dysfunction or TM disorders).
cervical spine problems.
Dental problems, such as impacted third
molars (wisdom teeth) or dental infections in the upper back
Other ear, nose, and throat infections. Examples are: