Tinnitus and TMJ are both annoying, and TMJ can be downright painful. Recent studies have found that there may be a link between the two – can treating one help you to find relief from the other? Read on for some more information about the link between TMJ and tinnitus.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a buzzing or ringing in the ears. Some people only have it occasionally, but some people live with it constantly. It is quite common, but the cause of it can be difficult to determine for each person. It can be caused by a head or neck injury, hearing loss, a chronic health problem, or even taking a certain kind of medication for an extended period of time.
How is tinnitus linked to TMJ?
“TMJ” is short for “temporomandibular joint,” but it is commonly used as a term to describe a problem with the jaw. The joint may become damaged or misaligned, which causes pain in the jaw while eating and talking, headaches, muscle aches, and ear pain. Researchers think that patients with TMJ develop tinnitus because the muscles in the jaw are so close to the muscles in the ear, and when the jaw muscles and joints don’t function correctly it can disturb the delicate parts of the ear.
Can my dentist help cure my tinnitus?
Treatment for tinnitus depends on what the cause might be. If you have tinnitus, you and your doctor should work together to try to pinpoint the exact cause. You may also want to visit your dentist (especially if your jaw has been painful lately) so that he or she can check for any jaw issues. If your jaw is in pain, it may be because your teeth are out of alignment. Your dentist may recommend Invisalign or orthodontics to help move your teeth back into the proper place, to reposition your bite correctly and to help your jaw muscles to relax.
If you have jaw pain and tinnitus, you should be aware that one might be causing the other. Find help for your TMJ at Pacific Northwest Smiles. Call 425-357-6400 for an appointment today!