What’s up with ears that ring, whistle or ache? TMJ ear pain explained
Do you have inexplicable ear problems? Do they ring? Are they congested? Do you have persistent earaches, ear pain when swallowing, dizziness or vertigo? If you’re experiencing these symptoms and your doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose or resolve them, you could be suffering from a TMJ disorder.
What causes a TMJ disorder?
Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint, more commonly know as your jaw joint. When this complex joint isn’t functionning properly, it can cause a host of painful symptoms in your jaw, face, head, neck, shoulders and ears. Why?
When you jaw is misaligned the muscles that support it have to work extra hard because they’re fighting your jaw’s unbalanced position. When your jaw muscles tire, they ask your face, head and neck muscles for help. As all these muscles become strained, they begin to put pressure on the nerves that run through them, causing discomfort, pain, congestion or dizziness in your ears.
The causes are many:
- Damaged or decayed teeth
- An underdeveloped jaw
- Jaw injury or trauma
- Teeth clenching or grinding, especially when you sleep
TMJD is a neuromuscular problem, meaning it involves more than just aspect of your jaw. It’s a difficult to diagnose disorder involving your jaw joints, muscles, nerves and the way your teeth come together, called occlusion.
Who can resolve a TMJ disorder? Try your dentist
A dentist trained in neuromuscular dentistry can help with TMJ issues by performing a thorough examination of your teeth, mouth and jaw. Some TMJ problems are relatively easy to resolve, If you are a night time teeth grinder, a simple orthotic to protect your teeth, plus pain relievers, jaw exercises, and special jaw muscle relaxation could be all you need. Missing, or damaged teeth can be repaired with veneers, crowns or bridges. Orthotics may be the fix for your underdeveloped jaw. If your dentist is trained in neuromuscular dentistry, he or she is armed with an array of diagnostic and treatment tools to help relieve your ear pain.
Learn more about TMJ
TMJ is complex and difficult to diagnose. Many people have no idea that a few worn teeth or the narrow bite they inherited from their parents could cause so many problems. They often spend months, sometimes years suffering needlessly because they didn’t have the help to put the pieces of the puzzle together. If you would like to know more about TMJ, please download my free e-book. Once you have a few clues, the puzzle will become easier to solve.