How does TMJ cause Tinnitus (ringing of the ears?)

Ringing of the ears is an annoying complaint that many patients discuss with their physicians. TMJ Dentist Dr. Konig notices that patients often do not realize that TMD can cause a host of medical symptoms including tinnitus.

Tinnitus can be described as a continuous or intermittent sound in the head similar to ringing, buzzing, or humming. Moving the head, shoulders or tongue can vary the intensity and strength of such sounds.

A simple way of understanding how this occurs: there are muscles of the Eustachian tube that are innervated by various nerves.  When the mandible or lower jaw is not in the correct position, the muscles can go into spasm. Contraction or spasm of some of the tensor muscles of the palate and eardrum can cause changes in the Eustachian tube and the rush of air through the tube is what patients often hear. In short, when the tension on the tympanic membrane increases, it causes a ringing noise.  These tensor muscles are supplied by the trigeminal nerve. Because the trigeminal nerve is involved, neuromuscular dentist can often relax the muscles that shut the tube and stop the ringing.

This may all sound complicated, but the importance of the medical jargon is this— treating a bad bite that causes muscle spasms is all that is needed to reduce or eliminate the ringing sounds aka tinnitus.

If you have questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston TMJ Dentistry, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF  713-668-2289.

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