Few types of pain can be as disorienting as ear pain, and sufferers typically believe their acoustic discomfort is brought on by an infection, inning accordance with the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
Does TMJ Cause Ear Pain?
The most typical reason for ear pain in a grownup is the temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ. So, answer to your question ‘Can TMJ Cause Ear Pain?’ is “Yes”.
The temporo-mandibular joint lies very near to the ear canal and middle ear. The muscles that surround the temporo-mandibular joint and the fascia and ligaments that hold the bones in place are intricately gotten in touch with the ear and the nerve that supports the ear. Regularly the pain (in one ear or both) has persisted for numerous weeks and may even reoccur. Very often, hearing hasn’t been impacted however there will be a stuffy or clogged up feeling in the ear. Ear pain is frequently worse during the night or in the morning. Some patients even tell us that their ear pain is even worse when they chew or yawn.
Many people with TMJ disorder have some type of inclining factor. The most common element is that the molar teeth do not fit together that well (called a moderate malocclusion). When the teeth do not fit together perfectly, biting can cause stress at the jaw joint because an abnormal or unequal force is being applied to one or both of the joint areas. Very typically, people with TMJ have what doctors call bruxism which means that they either clench or grind their teeth. Tooth clenchers tend to clench throughout the day when they are concentrating or thinking hard about something. The tooth grinders tend to do it at night while they are sleeping. This is a totally uncontrolled behavior which is mildly stress-related. Ear pain can likewise be brought on by a dental procedure such as root canal or gum cleaning. During these treatments, the temporo-mandibular joint has been stressed out due to the fact that the mouth was held open for an extended period of time. There may be some muscle or ligament strain that starts it. Interestingly, many people with this issue will likewise experience ringing in the ears or ringing in their impacted ear. We do not really comprehend why the ringing in the ears is more active during times of temporo-mandibular joint stress; however, since it is a greater brain function, it may be that problems with the ear simply bring the brain’s attention to this part of the body and tinnitus outcomes. The bright side is that after the temporo-mandibular joint disorder is dealt with, the tinnitus and ear pain will solve.
How to Treat Ear Pain Caused By TMJ?
The conservative treatment for ear pain triggered by temporo-mandibular joint disorder is extremely simple. First, we advise a soft diet which implies no heavy chewing of foods such as raw vegetables and fruits, hard-crusted bread or hard meat. We advise soft foods such as noodles, scrambled eggs, well-cooked meat and veggies to reduce the strain on the jaw joint during eating. Obviously, we advise no chewing of gum or other leisure chewing. We suggest the application of warm packs a couple of times a day to help unwind a few of the musculature because area. We likewise advise prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen around-the-clock for about a week to reduce the inflammation in that area. These measures need to help fix the TMJ flare. Likewise handy is making use of a mouthguard or bite plate, particularly during sleep. Mouthguards relieve stress from the joint and our TMJ patients have actually reported instantaneous relief after use. Mouthguards are available over the counter and are rather economical. There are custom bite plates also that your dental expert can produce you which are far more costly but also more scientifically efficient.
TMJ can cause other problems in the head and neck, also. Frequently, people who clench at night will awake with aches throughout their cheeks or in the lower jaw. Inflammation of the fascia surrounding the jaw joint can also cause pain that radiates from the ear area up into the temporal muscle in the temple and/or into the neck muscles. In some cases, people will even think that they have a sinus infection since of the mix of facial pressure and ear pain that they experience.
Other common causes of ear pain are swimmer’s ear or excessive wax impaction which are conditions of the ear canal. Likewise, less common in adults is otitis media which is an infection of the middle ear. This is the very same sort of ear infection that babies and children often get.