The Link to TMD
Meniere’s Disease and TMD share similar symptoms. For instance, those with TMD often experience the symptoms listed above in addition to jaw, neck, shoulder, or back pain, frequent headaches and migraines, and clicking and popping in the jaw. Unfortunately, ear pain is often passed off as being an ear infection and when an examination comes back as normal, patients feel hopeless to relieve their pain. However, the source of ear pain can actually be a direct result of TMD or a misaligned bite.
90% of TMD symptoms originate from muscles. The trigeminal nerve controls the muscles associated with the ear as well as the head and neck. When the jaw has a poor alignment, it can cause compression on the trigeminal and facial nerves which results in muscle spasms that can cause ear, head, and neck pain.
The misalignment can also affect the nearby ear structures due to pressure on the tympanic bone and petrotympanic fissure. In TMD cases, the condylar head has posterior displacement which results in compression on vital structures and increased pressure on the area which can cause ear symptoms.
When a bite has a misalignment, the muscles associated with posture overwork themselves to compensate for the imbalance. This results in muscle spasms and trigger points, most that are close to the ears, and therefore lead to symptoms associated with Meniere’s Disease.
A study conducted by Bjorn and Agerburg found that TMD treatment helped improved symptoms of Meniere’s Disease. The results suggest a clear association with TMD and that the same muscular tension, stress, and nervousness caused these ailments.
Dr. Haddad treated two patients for TMDs with neuromuscular treatment and those two patients noticed an improvement in their Meniere’s symptoms. This has given hope to patients with Meniere’s Disease that their symptoms will become manageable by addressing TMD.