I often recieve questions regarding ear pain when flying and if it is related to TMJ.
It is my feeling that if you do have ear pain when flying it is most likely an ear problem as opposed to TMJ. TMJ issues are most often not affected by changes in the air pressure in the cabin of an airplane, whereas if you have an ear problem this could be painful.
However, ear pain if a common symptom of TMJ and we see this very often with symptoms
ranging from ringing of the ears, congestion, and pain in the ear. These are often caused by the condyle pressing back on the middle ear and if this is the case, it can be treated with certain types of TMJ treatment.
In my opinion, if you have ear pain when flying, see your ENT for an evaluation to rule out any major problems.