Ear Symptoms Are Common in TMJ
Tinnitus sufferers and their doctors don’t usually consider TMJ as a possible cause for their ringing ears, but it’s actually very common. Studies show that nearly 80% of TMJ sufferers have some ear symptoms, including tinnitus. Other reported ear symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Hearing loss
People with ear symptoms should consider TMJ as a potential cause. One study found that 94% of people with tinnitus had TMJ. You should suspect TMJ if your tinnitus worsens or changes as you move your jaw or tends to flare up after intense jaw activity.
How Does TMJ Cause Tinnitus?
Many people find it hard to understand how a jaw condition can cause ear symptoms, but the connection actually makes a lot of sense. TMJ affects the temporomandibular joint. One side of that joint, the temporal bone, houses the sensitive inner ear. Pressure or vibrations from the other side of that joint, the mandible (jaw bone), can cause sounds in the ear. Don’t believe it? This is actually a mechanism the US military is investigating to develop secret hands-free communication that soldiers can use underwater or in high-noise environments like helicopter landing areas.
Here’s another secret: two of the three bones in the inner ear evolved from reptilian jawbones. They retain some of their connections to the muscles and nerves of the jaw. Jaw dysfunction can interfere with the function of these delicate structures.
In some patients, the misalignment (and in extreme cases, occasional, temporary dislocation of the jaw joint) can cause surrounding nerves such as the chorda tympani as well as blood vessels that feed the various parts of the ear to become pinched. This can lead to dizziness, tinnitus, and even headaches.
Hang Up on Your Ringing in the Ears
Ready to crack down on your tinnitus problem? Dr. Berry has the diagnostic equipment and training to assess whether or not it is likely to be caused by TMJ Disorder for you, and if it is, he has the proper means to treat it. Call our Denver office to make an appointment at (303) 691-0267. You may also contact our office online. Don’t let it cause you anymore frustration; have it treated today.