Ear Ringing: How to Stop It with Dental and TMJ Treatment Options
Are you afflicted with an inner ear condition called tinnitus?
If you have constant, or even occasional, ear ringing, wondering how to stop it has probably eluded you. That’s because tinnitus – including ear ringing and headache – is often related to another condition known as TMJ disorder.
How can a condition of the jaw and one of the ears be related?
TMJ Disorder and Ear Ringing Causes – What You Need to Know
To help you understand how tinnitus and TMJ disorder are linked, it’s important to first look at what factors cause each condition. Knowing this will help you see the connection between the two, and how it’s possible for a dentist to help treat ringing ears.
What Causes TMJ Disorder and Why Is It so Painful?
TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, is a condition in which the jaw joint is either injured, damaged or out of alignment. This can be caused by:
- Bruxism (grinding the teeth)
- Poor posture
- Stress (tight muscles can cause pain, especially if they’re out of alignment).
How can you tell if you have this condition? You’ll notice that you have pain in your jaw joint, as well as in muscles of the face, head, and neck that contribute to chewing. Patients with TMD often complain of:
- Chronic headaches
- Facial pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Tightness of neck and shoulder muscles.
What Causes the Ear Ringing and Headache of Tinnitus?
If you have tinnitus, you’re no stranger to the annoying ringing, whooshing, or buzzing sounds in your ears. Besides ear ringing, headaches are common amongst tinnitus sufferers.
What are some ear ringing causes? Common reasons for the ear ringing and headache include:
- Head injuries
- Prolonged exposure to excessive noise
- Exposure to cumulative noise
- Hearing loss due to age
- Some medications
- Excessive ear wax
- Ear infections
- Meniere’s disease (a condition of the inner ear that may lead to progressive hearing loss)
- TMJ disorder.
All of these conditions can lead to injury or deterioration of the nerves or structure of the inner ear.
Ear Ringing: How to Stop It? Put an End to It by Treating Your TMJ Disorder
How is it possible for the jaw joint to be the cause of ear ringing? It’s all due to anatomy.
Often, people with TMJ disorder experience a painful earache. However, the cause isn’t an infection. It’s the misalignment and inflammation of the jaw joint.
You have two jaw joints, one on the right side and one on the left. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located right next to your ear in the temporal bone of your skull. There are a number of interconnected nerves between the ear and jaw joints. When one nerve is inflamed, others will be too.
The ears and jaw share muscles as well. Misalignment strains those muscles. Thus, every time you chew your food, clench your jaw, or grind your teeth, you may also experience pain in your head, ears, neck, and shoulders.
Additionally, the main nerve of the TMJ is connected to the parts of the brain that affect hearing. When that nerve is impinged due to misalignment of the jaw, it can lead to hearing issues, one of which is tinnitus.
Another reason that TMJ disorder may cause ear ringing and headaches is that the malleus, a ligament in the middle ear, is affected by jaw misalignment. With the jaw out of place, ligament traction is adversely affected. This can cause pain, dysfunction, and ear ringing.
Patients with TMD often have neck issues as well. Muscle strain in the neck can be a symptom of jaw misalignment. What bearing does this have on ear ringing and how do we stop it? Some of the nerve endings of the neck are connected to the hearing center of the brain.
You Can Finally Get Relief from Jaw Pain, Ear Ringing, and Headache Symptoms
Dealing with chronic ear ringing and headache can greatly impact your quality of life. Thankfully, you can put an end to the ringing and pain by treating your TMJ disorder.
Once Dr. Ira Shapira determines whether your tinnitus is caused by TMD or not, you’ll receive a treatment plan that may include:
- Removable orthotics
- Full mouth reconstruction
- Jaw surgery
- Orthodontic treatment
- Home remedies, like improving your posture, reducing stress, and eating softer foods.
Because of the close relationship between the jaw and inner ear, you’ll notice a huge difference in ear ringing and headaches once you implement the treatment plan recommended by Dr. Ira Shapira. You might even notice an improvement in your hearing over time.
Jaw pain and ear ringing – the secret of how to stop it might finally be revealed once you get Dr. Ira Shapira on board!