We have talked before about how our Perspective on the TMJ-Tinnitus Connection: Your Ear Bones Are Jaw Bones provides striking evidence of the connection between TMJ and tinnitus. Now a new technology designed to restore hearing using your teeth shows how the jawbone can produce sounds in your ear.
The SoundBite Technology
The new device is called SoundBite, and it is used to restore hearing loss in one ear.
A tiny microphone is placed in the affected ear, utilizing the ear’s natural ability to focus sound. This microphone signal is then processed by a computer to both turn it into a radio signal and to do some stereo manipulation that will help your brain interpret the sound as coming from the bad ear.
The microphone signal is picked up by a tiny device that clips onto your teeth. The device changes this signal back into vibrations, which travel through your teeth into your jawbone. The vibrations are conducted by your jawbone into your temporal bone, which houses the cochlea, the spiral-shaped bony structure that translates vibrations into sounds. Inside the cochlea, the highly sensitive organ of Corti changes the pressure of the vibrations into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.
Insight into TMJ and Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a wide range of disorders that are all connected by the hearing of sound that does not seem to exist to others. This sound is produced in your head by many different mechanisms. Sometimes, tinnitus seems to be an artifact of the brain. Other times, the sound may be produced by your jaw.
The SoundBite technology proves that even minute pressure from the jaw can be translated into sound by the sensitive organ of Corti. It should not then be surprising if a TMJ imbalance that is putting excessive pressure on the temporal bone housing the cochlea might cause you to hear sounds inside your head.
We know that many people with TMJ experience tinnitus, and we know that TMJ treatment helps many (but not all) tinnitus sufferers.
To learn whether TMJ might be responsible for your tinnitus, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.