Dental Health

Tinnitus and TMJ

Tinnitus and TMJ

Tinnitus is known as a constant ringing of the ears and is sometimes accompanied by pain. Those who suffer from Tinnitus have also been known to say the noise sounds like hissing, roaring, buzzing or clicking. The pain may be worsened or relieved by opening the jaw. The sounds can be soft or incredibly loud and the case can range from mild to severe. The more severe cases have been known to keep people up at night and cause a significant deal of frustration. These noises can be heard in either both ears or just one; it depends on the case. There is no set length for those who suffer from Tinnitus. The noises can last months, years or a lifetime. However, Tinnitus has been known to be a common side effect from those who suffer from TMJ Disorder (TMJ/TMD), or in long form: Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

How TMJ and Tinnitus Are Connected

Tinnitus has been known to be a symptom of TMJ in many cases. These two are commonly experienced by the same individuals. The eardrum is located very close to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint at issue in cases of TMD. If the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, it can affect the eardrum. The inflammation of the joint can affect the stabilization of the eardrum, which can cause the pain and noise associated with Tinnitus.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

TMD, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, is often described as pain associated with the joint or jaw region. This pain can also be paired with the decreased ability to open and close mouth, popping or clicking noises coming from jaw when it is opened or closed, and a limited ability to chew without accompanied discomfort. This disorder is usually due to a misalignment of the structures within the jaw. TMJ disorder can also be caused by tooth wear, orthodontic issues and congenital abnormalities with the joint itself. Depending on the case, the discomfort and pain associated with TMD can typically be lessened with the help of an oral surgeon.

Treatment Options

There are several different options for those who suffer from TMJ/TMD, both surgical and nonsurgical. The non-surgical options include medication, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and following a soft foods diet. The non-surgical TMJ treatment options that have been known to help with Tinnitus are mouth guards, to prevent grinding, and splints to help stabilize the misaligned eardrum.

If symptoms persist after the exhaustion of non-surgical treatment, you may be a candidate for surgical treatment. Austin Oral Surgery’s team of surgeons has extensive training in surgical treatment of TMJ disorders. To determine if you are a candidate for surgery, a complete temporomandibular joint evaluation by your oral surgeon is a good way to attain a diagnosis.
For questions or to schedule a consultation, call Austin Oral Surgery today.