When to Suspect TMJ Is Causing Ear Symptoms
TMJ shouldn’t be your first assumption if you have ear symptoms. However, here are some clues that you should consider TMJ as a possible cause of ear symptoms.
You’ve Eliminated Common Causes
First, look at the possibility that your tinnitus and other ear symptoms are due to common causes. Exposure to loud noises because of your work and hobbies is the leading cause of tinnitus and hearing loss. Ear wax buildup is another cause of ear symptoms.
For some conditions, like Meniere’s disease, TMJ treatment can be very effective.
If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more medical conditions, check to see if tinnitus is a symptom. Tinnitus is sometimes a side effect of medications, so check all the medications you’re taking. Talk to your doctor about changing medications if you think one is behind your tinnitus.
Symptoms Alter with Jaw Movement
Another sign that TMJ could be linked to ear symptoms is when those symptoms change when you move your jaw. Check whether moving your jaw causes symptoms to change. For example, people often find that moving their jaw causes tinnitus to get louder or change in pitch.
Symptoms Flare after Jaw Activity
Do you tend to experience tinnitus or bouts of dizziness after working your jaw? This makes it likely that TMJ is behind your ear symptoms.
Don’t forget that jaw activity isn’t just chewing and talking. Jaw clenching also counts as strenuous jaw activity. If you get ear symptoms when you’re stressed, stress-related jaw clenching might be the cause. You might also clench your jaw when exercising. It’s very common, for example, among weightlifters. Finally, don’t forget about night bruxism: clenching and grinding during sleep. If you wake up with a ringing in your ears, TMJ might be the reason.
You Have Other TMJ Symptoms
TMJ often causes many symptoms, some of which you might not suspect are linked to your tinnitus, vertigo, or other ear symptoms. Check out the list of TMJ symptoms, and if you have others in addition to your ear symptoms, you should suspect TMJ.
Your Doctor Says the Condition Is Untreatable
For many cases of tinnitus, vertigo, and ear pain, doctors simply tell sufferers that there is no treatment available. You just have to live with your symptoms.
In this situation, you should get the opinion of a TMJ dentist. Doctors often don’t think of TMJ. A TMJ dentist can give you a thorough evaluation to see if you might benefit from TMJ treatment.