That ringing in the ears that affects people living with tinnitus, in some cases, may be a result of undiagnosed temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). To help those struggling, we’ve compiled a list of three connections between TMD and tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a disorder where a person hears ringing or buzzing sounds in one or both of their ears. The condition can be constant and continuous or it can come and go. In addition to the excruciating condition of hearing a persistent ringing, people with tinnitus are often left with other symptoms such as :

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Concentration issues
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Irritability

woman at home suffering from tinnitus

3 Ways TMD Can Cause Tinnitus

1. Trigeminal Nerve-Tensor Tympani

The same Trigeminal nerve that controls the jaw muscles also innervates the tiny muscles that control the eardrum tightness called Tensor Tympani. This connection between the jaw and inner ear means that poor jaw alignment can result in an overactive Tensor Tympani. The increased eardrum tightness can result in the perception of ringing.

2. Articular Disc-Malleus

The articular disc that lines the temporomandibular joint is attached to a tiny ligament that travels through a tiny gap in the back of the TMJ socket to attach to the malleus, a small bone in the middle ear responsible for transmitting vibrations of the ear drum. When a disc is out of place adding tension on this ligament is another source of tinnitus.

3. Temporal Tendon-Temporalis Muscle

The temporal tendon that attaches the temporalis muscle to the jaw bone can become inflamed from overactivity when the jaw is poorly aligned. An inflamed temporal tendon is also known to cause tinnitus.

Tinnitus and TMD Relief

If you suffer from tinnitus and TMD, believe that you might, or are interested in learning more you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Raman by calling our offices at (816) 436-4422.