ear-painRinging in the ears, commonly referred to as tinnitus, is a condition that plagues many individuals for a number of reasons. There are several conditions that can create ringing in the ears. The causes range from traumatic injury to auditory nerves to certain medications that can cause ringing in the ears. The problem may also be caused by hypertension or some heart problems. A less obvious cause of ringing in the ears is temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a condition that affects one’s ability to comfortably open and close their mouth due to problems in the joints, muscles and/or nerves of the jaw. It’s most often caused by injury, but damaged, decayed or broken teeth, genetics, an under-developed jaw due to allergies as a child, or nighttime teeth grinding can also be the culprit.  Any of these factors can cause a person’s bite to become unbalanced. An unbalanced bite puts undue strain on your jaw muscles as the jaw joint fights for balance.  When your jaw muscles fatigue, they call on you face, head and neck muscles to help out.  Over time, this can result in a pile of tense, overworked muscles.  The painful symptoms that TMJ causes, such as headaches, neck pain, ear pain and ringing in the ears, can be directly related to those tight muscles or by the compressed nerves that run through them.

Your dentist can help your get the right diagnosis

Finding a definitive cause for ringing in the ears can often be difficult. Many times it is more the process of elimination as opposed to finding a definitive diagnosis through certain diagnostic tests. Because there are so many different causes of this particular symptom, it can often be extremely difficult to pinpoint the specific problem. Many times ringing in the ears is something that must be evaluated as one symptom out of many in order for doctors to find a definitive cause of the problem.

A San Jose/Los Gatos dentist trained in neuromuscular dentistry could be just the solution you’re looking for.  Because a TMJ problem is caused by an unbalanced bite, they are best positioned to evaluate your jaw and its muscles and nerves. They are armed with modern diagnostic equipment, an in-depth understanding of how the muscles, nerves and joints of your jaw need to work in unison, and various treatment options ranging from a ULF-TENS machine to dental restorative of damaged or missing teeth,

Learn more

For anyone who experiences ringing in the ears and suspects that TMJ may be the problem, it is imperative to visit a well qualified dentist in San Jose/Los Gatos. TMJ is a painful condition that interferes with daily life, and ringing in the ears is one more reason to be evaluated as promptly as possible so that treatment can be started. It will arm you with information that just might help you alleviate your ringing in the ears.