TMJ and the Ear
You may be surprised to learn that the ear suffers a good deal from the effects of a misaligned jaw. In addition to ear pain, you may also experience the following TMJ ear symptoms:
- Ringing in the ear, medically known as “tinnitus”
- Stuffiness in the ear
- Muffled sounds in the ear
- Pain in the ear
- Difficulty hearing
When the ear is involved with your TMJ, you may also experience dizziness, medically known as “vertigo” because the inner ear is the part of the body that controls balance. Many people with TMJ ear symptoms report feelings of dizziness, feeling faint, and even feeling nauseated due to TMJ. Simply put, the effects of TMJ ear symptoms can be very serious, even debilitating, preventing you from performing work duties and general activities of daily living. The painful symptoms of TMJ can detract from your quality of life and make you miserable.
The Ear and TMJ
The temporomandibular joints are in close proximity to the auditory canal, so pain and inflammation in this joint will affect the ear. A ringing sound in the ear, also known as tinnitus, is a common symptom of TMJ. It’s estimated that about 80% of people with TMJ will have ear symptoms. Many people often mistake the ear symptoms of TMJ with the symptoms of an ear infection.
Ear infections are common in children. When children have some form of illness, like the flu or a cold, the bacteria will spread to the middle ear. Viruses or bacteria reproduce in the middle ear, and those bacteria, in collaboration with your immune system, create swelling and excess fluid that can lead to clogging of the narrow passage of the middle ear. However, this process rarely occurs in adults.
Adults are unlikely to experience ear infections, even if they got ear infections commonly as a child. So, if you often have the symptoms of an ear infection, you may have TMJ/TMD instead. TMJ ear symptoms mimic those of an ear infection, so many people go undiagnosed with TMJ for a very long time while they’re seeking help for their ear infection.
Ear symptoms unrelated to TMJ will occur if:
- You are recovering from a recent illness
- You have discharge coming from the ear
- You have a fever
If any of those signs or symptoms are present with your earache, ear fullness, or ringing in the ears, you likely will not have TMJ.
TMJ and Ear Symptoms
Kansas City, Missouri, neuromuscular dentist Dr. Prabu Raman of Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep, will be able to diagnose and treat TMJ using the most advanced neuromuscular dental technology available today. You will likely get diagnosed with TMD if you exhibit the following:
- Your medical doctor said you don’t have an ear infection
- The symptoms don’t resolve on their own
- The symptoms don’t respond to antibiotics
- You have other TMJ symptoms involving the face, head, neck, and jaw
- Your symptoms seem to flare up after intense jaw activity
Treatment for TMJ Ear Symptoms in Kansas City, Missouri
If you’ve been suffering from the painful symptoms of TMJ but have not gotten a firm diagnosis, it may be time to contact Dr. Raman at Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep. Using intricate computer analyses, Dr. Raman will study the sounds and movements of your jaw to diagnose TMJ. A TMD treatment plan will then be created specifically for you.
While there are three phases to TMJ treatment, many patients experience success without ever advancing to the third phase (the phase in which surgery is indicated). Using a number of non-invasive treatment modalities, you will likely feel better after just a few visits to Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep.
Dr. Raman is a world-renowned innovator, pioneer, and educator in Physiologic Neuromuscular Dentistry and would love to help you. Please call (816) 436-4422 or fill out our online contact form with your question or appointment request. One of our amazing dental team members will reach out soon.
With so many non-invasive TMJ treatment techniques available, there’s no reason to suffer one more day with the painful, often debilitating symptoms of TMJ. If you have TMJ ear symptoms that mimic an infection but have no other signs of an ear infection, please call Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep today.