Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ear Symptoms and TMJ

Ears are remarkable, and they are how we hear various sounds in the world. From big to small, usually, people know their ears will work. But, what if something goes wrong? Usually, when that happens it’s irritating, painful, and it can cause issues with pressure, fullness, and even ringing, ranging from mild to severe, and usually, they have to seek out a tANT, who specializes in this.

But, it is interesting to note that ear symptoms are also associated with TMJ pathology. The relationship is often overlooked, but they are closely related since underlying problems with the bite or muscles does affect the ear.

So what distinguishes the ear problems with a dental cause? Usually, it’s associated with one ear, and very deep, and it travels down to the neck, temple, or even the head, and it is caused by any jaw motion.  It is seen in detail infections, especially in the lower jaw, since it radiates to the ears.  There are many symptoms, and there is a relationship between both of these.

Ear pain, ringing, ear pressure or fullness, jaw shifts to the right or left when it’s widened up, balance issues and dizziness, sore and tender muscles, along with clicking and popping are all signs of this.

The ear and the jawbone are actually structures that start out as one in the embryo, and as they start to grow, they eventually separate, and it’s important to look at this.  If you take the time to look at the anatomy of the ear, you’ll see that they are similar, especially when it comes to the tensor palatini, which controls how the eustachian tube opens and closes.  The same neve channel controls both of these, one to open this, the other to allow chewing. Since these two areas have the same nerve supply, if there is pain in one, it will affect the other location.

Along with this, another thing that they both have in common is the location, with the jaw being attached to the skull by the two joints in front of where the ear is.  The part of the skull that separates these jaw joints is thin, so TMJ can reflect ear issues.

Abnormal bites potentially contribute to many muscles and joint problems with TMJ.  Teeth that usually come together do so about 2500 times each day and night, but over time, if it’s abnormal, these tire out, shorten, and eve stiffen, and it can cause the muscles to spasm, and the jaw joints will be pulled out of alignment. If that’s the case, you should see a dentist that can diagnose and treat TMJ

So yes, TMJ doesn’t just affect the jawbone, but ear pain and trouble are associated with that as well. If you’re suffering from ear pain, it’s in your best interest to go see a doctor right away and get the diagnosis that you need, so that if there is TMJ happening, it can explain the ear issues you have.