Tinnitus, a constant ringing, hissing, or buzzing in the ears, affects millions of men and women. Some cases are mild, while others are severe enough to keep sufferers awake at night. Tinnitus may only be sound in the ears, but it can also be accompanied by pain. Pain may become worse when the jaw is opened. Or it may relieve the pain. If you have been suffering from tinnitus, especially if it is accompanied by pain, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Tinnitus is a common symptom of TMJ, as are popping and clicking of the jaw, as well as jaw pain. Debilitating migraine like headaches is another common symptom. In all cases, this is due to a misalignment of the jaw. There are several cranial nerves in your head, including the trigeminal, which is the largest. Any misalignment or swelling in the jaw can inflame the nerves causing all kinds of painful symptoms. Because the temporomandibular joint is close to the eardrum, if there is inflammation, pain and ringing may occur when the nerves are irritated.
Treating TMJ to Help Your Tinnitus
Diagnosing TMJ is accomplished through non-surgical means. By using technology, such as Cone beam Computer Tomography to scan a 3D image of your jaw, and a T-Scan to measure your bite, problems can be identified. It could be a cracked or missing tooth, or teeth grinding that is causing the misalignment, but only consulting with Dr. Whitmore will we know for sure.
Some options for treatment include mouth guards to prevent grinding, or splints to help stabilize the misalignment. This can help get to the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
If you suffer from tinnitus and want to find out if it could be TMJ related, contact Janet or Rachel at Whitmore Dental to arrange a consultation by calling Whitmore Dental at 877-779-4486. We are conveniently located at 5932 West Parker Road, Suite 600, Plano, TX 75093.