Tinnitus is as mysterious an illness as TMJ, and the two are frequently associated. TMJ is commonly listed as a potential cause of tinnitus, although there are disputes about whether TMJ actually causes tinnitus as well as the mechanism by which TMJ causes tinnitus.

However, researchers have found substantial evidence that tinnitus associated with TMJ is different in some ways from other types of TMJ, supporting the theory that TMJ might cause tinnitus and that tinnitus with TMJ should be treated using TMJ treatment methods.

Young woman grasping ear in pain

Distinguishing Tinnitus Types

Researchers at the University of Bochum looked at data from the Tinnitus Research Initiative, an international attempt to determine the subtypes of the condition and recommend treatment options based on the different types. They looked at 1204 patients with tinnitus, about 22% of whom also had TMJ) and looked at the characteristics of the patients to attempt to determine the relationship between the conditions.

They found that tinnitus sufferers with TMJ were significantly more likely to have the following characteristics:

  • Younger age overall
  • Younger age at tinnitus onset
  • Female
  • Able to change or conceal tinnitus by moving their head or jaw
  • Able to change or conceal tinnitus with music

Although there were many characteristics where the two groups were not distinguished.

TMJ Treatment for Tinnitus

Although it is not definitive, the evidence in this study shows that TMJ-related tinnitus is different from other types of tinnitus, and supports the studies showing that TMJ treatment can reduce or eliminate tinnitus.

Especially promising is that TMJ tinnitus sufferers are able to reduce or mask the sounds by moving their head or jaw. This shows that TMJ treatment that helps put your jaw in a healthier position is likely to have a positive effect on your TMJ.

If you are suffering from tinnitus or other symptoms of TMJ, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver today.