Do you experience pain in your ears when chewing or swallowing? Do you experience unusual pain or pressure in your ears? While it’s common to experience these symptoms when you have an ear infection or ear-related problem, your jaw could also be causing your ear pain when swallowing due to TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for your temporomandibular joints. They are the joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. When this particular joint stops working correctly, everyday tasks such as chewing or swallowing will no longer be taken for granted due to constant pain. If you are suffering from ear pain when swallowing, it could be TMJ.
How Does TMJ Affect Your Ears?
Your ears have a tube that runs from the middle ear connecting it to the rear of the nose. They are called your eustachian tubes. These tubes regulate the pressure in your middle ears. They are also responsible for moving fluid out of your middle ears, preventing infection. A TMJ disorder can cause this area of the ear to stop working properly, resulting in ear pain and congestion.
Why Do I Get an Earache When Chewing and Swallowing?
When you have an earache, you probably naturally assume it is caused by infection. Oftentimes it is. But, if it’s on-going, or, if your doctor isn’t able to treat it successfully, it could be caused by TMJ. If you have a bad bite, damaged or missing teeth, teeth worn from grinding or an underdeveloped jaw, your jaw muscles work overtime. Once they tire, they recruit you to face head and neck muscles to help out. As these muscles become overworked, they tighten up and can put pressure on the nerves that run through them. This is why it’s common to get an earache when chewing and swallowing. The overworked muscles are the root cause of TMJ symptoms like migraines or ear pain when swallowing.
TMJ Treatment in Los Gatos
If you want to put an end to TMJ ear pain, you need TMJ treatment in Los Gatos from our TMJ dentist, Dr. Nehawandian. First, Dr. Nehawandian will ask you if you experience other symptoms of TMJ aside from ear pain. These can include headaches, jaw pain, sore or sensitive teeth, clenching or grinding, or facial pain. If she suspects your symptoms are related to TMJ, she will analyze your jaw, bite, and your teeth using advanced dental technology. One technology we use for this is the K-7 Evaluation System which tells us whether your bite is one of the causes of your problem.
Following a TMJ diagnosis, we will determine what your correct jaw position is and use neuromuscular dentistry to balance your muscles, jaw joints, and teeth. If you ever thought a TMJ dentist in Los Gatos could help ease your ear pain symptoms, call (408) 354-5600 to finally put an end to ear pain and treat TMJ for good.