What is Tinnitus and How Does It Relate to TMJ?

TMJ BismarckA sensation of ringing, clicking, whistling or buzzing sounds in the ears is known as tinnitus, and this condition may have some relationship with jaw problems that fall under the general classification of TMJ disorder, although TMJ problems are rarely the cause of tinnitus in comparison to other issues.

A TMJ disorder occurs when one or more of the jaw’s many components, including bone, cartilage, muscle and nerves, malfunctions. You may be thinking, how can a problem with my jaw cause ringing in my ear? The jaw’s close proximity to the ear and shared muscle and nerves in the vicinity are likely contributing factors.

In addition to tinnitus, a TMJ disorder may also present with symptoms such as jaw, facial or ear pain, clicking or popping sounds from the jaw or locking of the jaw.

Patients who are experiencing any of these symptoms may want to consult with a prosthodontist for an evaluation and treatment of the TMJ disorder. The prosthodontist can design a stabilization splint that fits over your upper or lower teeth and holds the jaw in a healthy position, eliminating strain on the muscles that can cause the discomfort associated with a TMJ disorder.

Other treatment options may include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (such as stress management) and medication to manage symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Your prosthodontist may recommend any of these approaches after assessing your case, as well.

Both TMJ disorder and tinnitus can have a significantly negative effect on your quality of life, so getting effective treatment can make a major difference for you. Additionally, many of the more conservative treatments, such as wearing a stabilization splint, are manageable within the context of your typical routine. Patients often get symptom relief from these non-invasive treatment options.

If you are struggling with tinnitus, you may have an underlying TMJ disorder that is causing this symptom. Call our office to schedule an evaluation and learn more about your treatment options.

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