TMJ pain sometimes manisfests itself as ear pain from the TMJ joint. Many patients are referred from ENT specialists who have patients who are convinced they have an ear infection whereas it is related to TMJ issues. Most ENTs rule out hearing loss and ear drum issues and then consider that it is a possible TMJ dysfunction and then suggest their patients see a dentist who specializes in TMJ or has special interests in TMJ.
The pain in ones ear can hurt to eat, chew, or talk or be a dull, achy pain. Most of the time the pain is over the joint and in front of the ear. This happens when the jaw joint is forced back, or compressed, into the space in front of the ear. There is synovial fluid space in this area and it has blood vessels and nerves in this space which hurts when compressed. Othertimes, the pain can be from muscles which are overworked. The feeling of ear pain from TMJ can occur due to:
1) A bad bite (problem with the way the teeth meet together)
3) Disc Displacement (disc is compressed and forced off the jaw joint)
The latter can cause clicking and popping in the joint. These are only one of many types of TMJ pain and symptoms that can occur.