Scott Duncan pounced on his victim at the home of a mutual friend in South Shields, where they had both visited last August.
During the violence, the 25-year-old latched on to the man's ear with his teeth, which caused excruciating pain and wounds that needed stitches.
The exact reason for the shocking attack remains unclear.
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Prosecutor Vince Ward told Newcastle Crown Court: "For no apparent reason, the defendant suddenly jumped up from his position and attacked his victim.
"He punched him initially to the jaw, twice, using both fists, with enough force it dislodged a number of his teeth.
"He continued to punch him to the left side of the head."
The court heard the victim reached for a hammer to protect himself when Duncan first bit his ear but was quickly disarmed by his attacker, who latched on to his ear again.
Mr Ward added: "He describes the bite to have lasted for about three minutes.
"He described the pain as extreme and unbearable.
"He said it felt like the defendant was going to rip his ear off.
"He was screaming for him to get off the whole time he was biting his ear.
"Every time he struggled, the movement made the pain worse."
The court heard the man's ear was stitched at hospital but he will be left scarred.
Duncan, of no fixed address, who has previous convictions for violence, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Judge Julie Clemitson jailed him for five years and four months.
The judge told him: "All of the professionals who have assessed you take the view you are a high risk of causing further serious harm by the commission of further offences."
Judge Clemitson said the sentence should "provide the public with some sense they may be safe from such violence in future."
Angus Taylor, defending, said Duncan had a troubled past but has sought professional help for his problems for the first time and accepts full responsibility for what he did.
Mr Taylor said: "He is willing to change and wants to change."
After his earlier guilty plea, Detective Constable Brian Mccreight, of Northumbria Police, said: "This was a vicious assault that left the victim with a number of injuries, including broken teeth and a nasty hole to his ear.
"Scott Duncan’s behaviour was totally unacceptable. He lost control in a moment of madness, and inflicted a great deal of pain on his victim.
"We take assaults of this nature very seriously, and would always encourage anybody who is subjected to this level of violence to come forward and speak to police.
"Throughout this case, Duncan has been uncooperative with officers and refuted his involvement. However, due to the overwhelming weight of evidence against him, he changed his mind and admitted the charge at the eleventh hour.
"He must now deal with the consequences of his actions."