If you suffer with tinnitus – that ringing or buzzing in the ears – you may know that there’s not a lot that can be done to cure this problem. However, if you suffer with tinnitus and jaw pain, you should know that reducing your jaw pain may be a way to reduce your tinnitus!
What Causes Tinnitus?
It can be difficult to determine exactly what causes a patient’s tinnitus. It can be caused by a head or a neck injury, hearing loss, or a chronic health problem. And, yes, it can also be caused by TMJ.
“TMJ” is short for “temporomandibular joint,” the jaw joint, but it is also a term to describe joint disorders. TMJ may develop because of a misaligned bite, years of grinding or clenching teeth, stress, missing teeth, or damage to the cartilage because of a condition such as arthritis. Symptoms of TMJ include headaches, neck and shoulder aches, a clicking or popping sound when the jaw opens and closes, and facial pain.
Researchers think there may be a link between tinnitus and TMJ because the jaw joint is so close to the ear, and problems with one can lead to problems with the other. People with TMJ are more likely to have tinnitus than people without. If your tinnitus seems to get worse when you are under stress, this may be a good sign it is linked to TMJ.
Can TMJ Treatment Help Your Tinnitus?
There are, of course, no guarantees that treating your TMJ will cure your tinnitus, but it is certainly worth discussing this with your dentist. There are many different options available for TMJ treatment, such as physical therapy, splint therapy, neuromuscular oral orthotics, and medications. Dental implants or orthodontics (such as braces) can also help to straighten teeth and reduce the stress on your jaw.
Both tinnitus and TMJ are very common problems that can negatively impact your life in many different ways. If you think you have TMJ, contact the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry for treatment options. Call the office in Houston, Texas, at (713) 668-2289 for an appointment today!