Jaw Pain, Muscle Soreness, Ear Ringing, and Dentistry

Dr. Shapira Ear Ringing, Jaw Pain 0 Comments

Jaw pain, muscle soreness, ear ringing, and…dentistry? How it all relates

Jaw pain, muscle soreness, ear ringing and….dentistryMany people do not realize how much impact the mouth can have on the rest of the body. The muscles and tissue in the immediate area of the jaw are much stronger than we often assume. What this means is that disorders in the temporo-mandibular joint can result in unrecognized symptoms that may appear as some other medical problem.

Migraine headaches are perfect examples. Many people who suffer from migraines think any medical problem is associated with the aching area of the head, when in fact it can be the result of pressure created by a TMJ disorder.

TMJ jaw pain explained

Jaw pain is a general indicator that there is some type of disorder or alignment problem in the TMJ. Misalignment is common, but arthritis and osteoarthritis are also examples of medical conditions known to cause jaw pain in some instances.

Pain is not necessarily confined to one side of the jaw in either event. Jaw pain can also be associated with a heart attack or angina in certain cases, but more often than not, jaw pain causation is usually located in the TMJ.

Why your ears may be ringing

Ringing ears is also a condition that is not normally associated with jaw disorders. While this can be a symptom of the ear disorder tinnitus, ringing ears can also be caused by the TMJ. Other symptoms can also arise, as some patients experience throbbing or pulsating pain in addition to ringing ears.

The TMJ joint is one of the most complex regions of the body, and is actually hinged just below the ear. Ringing ears tends to be one of the most common symptoms with TMJ patients, but the symptom can also be an indication of other problems.

How TMJ causes muscle soreness

Muscle soreness is also very common for patients with a TMJ disorder, and physiologic dentistry can often provide an effective diagnosis and treatment regimen. Once again, the complexity of the body region surrounding the ear means that there are multiple medical disorder possibilities.

Muscle soreness is a symptom of unusual pressure being placed on the muscles connected to the TMJ . Very often the soreness will go away after the TMJ is effectively treated.

Do you have TMJ?

If you are suffering from pain or discomfort in these regions of the body a physiologic dentistry professional will be able to help diagnose the problem and provide an accurate prognosis.

If you would like to learn more about how TMJ might be affecting you, please take my free questionnaire.

TMJ Symptoms

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The many faces of TMJ

TMJ is often called THE GREAT IMPOSTER

tmj-symptoms-chicagoTMJ symptoms can be wide ranging, complex and difficult to understand.  Frequently patients go from doctor to doctor looking for answers to these problems only to be frustrated again and again.  This is why the name  The Great Imposter is so accurate.  Patients are treated for symptoms not underlying causes.

If you experiencing any of the following common symptoms:

  • facial pain and soreness
  • Tension headaches or tmj and/or muscle headaches
  • migraines and other vascular headaches
  • ear pain …otalgia
  • ear ringing
  • sinus pain or pressure
  • ear stuffiness or pressure
  • distorted hearing
  • eye pain
  • pain behind the eye..retro-orbital pain
  • eye sensitivity
  • neck pain
  • back pain
  • tender jaw muscles
  • muscle tightness
  • MPD or Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sleep Disordrs
  • Morning Headaches
  • muscle pain
  • pain when biting, chewing or yawning
  • difficulties closing and opening the mouth
  • popping or clicking sounds when opening the mouth
  • sensitive teeth
  • excessive tooth wear
  • numbness in the fingers, hands & arms

and you can’t seem  to find a way to resolve them, they could be caused by a dental problem known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or Dysfunction (TMD).

TMJ is often ignored by the medical community.

If you’ve sought medical treatment with no results, the next logical step to finding out what is at the root cause of your pain or discomfort is to seek a consultation with a dentist trained in physiologic dentistry.  Dr. Shapira has over 30 years experience in physiologic dentistry and pain treatment.

How could your TMJ be the cause of your unexplained chronic pain?

The Trigeminal Nerve Connection

Often, unresolved chronic pain or discomfort is associated with the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint. You use this important joint to eat, chew, talk or yawn. The successful working of these joints depends on the smooth interaction of ligaments, muscles, bones and discs that make up the TMJ.

The largest input to our brain is the Trigeminal nerve, it is amplified by the reticular activating system which gives it incredible influence on all head and neck pain or disorders. Differential diagnosis of orofacial pains is crucial in treating all TMJ patients.

Computers users are familiar with the phrase “Garbage in…Garbage out”   Our brain is our computer and if it is flooded with painful (Nociceptive) input from the Trigeminal Nerve the Garbage out is perceived as PAIN!

If there is any misalignment in your bite painful or uncomfortable symptoms can result, as:

  • the components of your TMJ encounter friction spots
  • the jaw muscles become overworked sometimes radiating pain to other body parts or
  • the underlying nerves become compressed sending pain signals to your brain.
  • Excessive muscle contraction increases friction in the TMJ’s


Balance your jaw and ease your TMJ symptoms

tmj-treatment3If your jaw disorder symptoms are caused by a misaligned bite, you have a good chance of easing or even eliminating them with TMJ dental treatment. A dentist trained in physiologic dentistry can diagnosis TMD to determine an effective course of treatment to realign your bite.

  1. The dentist will first check your medical history to ensure that there is nothing else that could be causing your unexplained symptoms.
  2. The next step is to assess the misalignment of your bite that can cause so many uncomfortable symptoms.  A complete examination includes muslce palpation and takes close to an hour or more
  3. If misalignment is detected, the dentist will measure your jaw function and relax your jaw muscles by massaging them with a TENS machine – an extremely low frequency electrical stimulator, which activates blood flow.  Physiologic Dentistry utilizes sophisticated diagnostics that track jaw movement and function and can evaluate muscle function and muscle symetrr
  4. When the tension in your muscles has been relieved, the best position for your bite will be found. This is then kept in the right place by positioning a non invasive orthotic device over your teeth. If successful, longer term stabilization can be achieved by dental restorations or othodontics.
  5. The first step is the Diagnostic Physiologic Orthotic.  The orthotic is an integral part of the diagnostic process.  It is our trial appliance that determines a three dimensional not stressed position of the mandible.  It is adjusted to reflect changes in posture that occur during treatment.  These changes are the result of healing and take time to occur and stabilize.
  6. Miraculous instant relief and slower relief are difernet versions of that healing process.  There are many factors that affect the pathways of healing.

Once your bite is in a healthier more comfortable position, you should find your pain fading away.  These results with the diagnostic orthotic are used as a blue print for long term treatment.