Do you have tinnitus – that occasional (or even constant) ringing or buzzing in the ears? Do you also have TMJ – pain in the jaw joint? The two may be related, and your dentist may be able to help you to find relief.
The Link Between TMJ and Tinnitus
Both TMJ and tinnitus are quite common. Tinnitus can start after a patient has had a neck or head injury, or it can be related to a chronic health problem or loss of hearing. It can even be caused by taking certain medications for a long time. “TMJ” is a catch-all term that refers to disorders of the jaw, and it is short for “temporomandibular joint.” If the joint is damaged or misaligned, it can cause headaches, ear pain, pain while eating or talking, shoulder and neck aches, and more.
Recently, studies have shown that there may be a link between TMJ and tinnitus. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why there is this link, but it may have something to do with the muscles in the jaw being so close to the muscles in the ear. The treatment for tinnitus, of course, depends on what is causing it. Your doctor will want to give you a thorough examination to determine if there is a problem with your jaw or if your tinnitus is caused by something else.
There are a few different options for treating TMJ, which your dentist can give you – you might be advised to take pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or sedatives, or a bite guard may help. If you have missing teeth or a bite that is misaligned, orthodontics to straighten your teeth or a dental implant to replace your tooth might be recommended. Some patients find that their TMJ is worse when they are under stress and so they may benefit from counseling, to learn better ways to deal with stressful situations.
Asking your dentist for help with your TMJ may not only help your jaw feel better but may even help with your tinnitus, too! Contact Lerner & Lemongello in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, if you suffer with TMJ. Call (561) 627-9000 for an appointment today!