Ear Problems

Are you finding issues with hearing? Do you experience muffled hearing, tingling in the ears and constant ear pain? It could not be a regular ENT problem, but you could be suffering from a TMJ (temporomandibular Joint) disorder too.

As the TM (Temporomndibular) joint is based adjacent to the ears, it’s common that you might experience many TMJ symptoms in the ears.
Patients with TMJ condition in the ear might experience –

  • Ear pain
  • Clogged ears
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears caused due to nerve irritation)
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw
  • Muffled/decreased hearing

Some of the other accompanying symptoms could be jaw pain, headaches, difficulty chewing, facial pain, dizziness, and pain or stiffness in the neck or shoulders.

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, it is advisable you see a TMJ specialist who is a dentist with specialized training in dealing with TMJ cases. TMJ condition is very common and affects people of all ages, however, it might be difficult to diagnose due to lack of knowledge or right guidance and often be treated as an ENT problem.

A TMJ condition can lead to hearing loss if not addressed at the right time. It is however important to note the symptoms and act in time.

Why TMJ Ear Pain Occurs?

TMJ could occur due to several reasons including –

  • Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint
  • Excessive chewing of gum leads to jaw overuse and subtle muscle spasms
  • A Malocclusion or improper bite
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Stress and other psychological triggers
  • Any accident to the neck or head resulting in jaw damage and displacement

The seriousness of the issue

There are three major types of hearing loss that can be caused by TMJ disorder:

Conductive

This type of hearing loss impedes the conveyance of sound through the middle ear cavity to the inner ear causing sounds to be quieter and less intense.

Sensorineural

This type of hearing loss is caused by the dysfunction of the inner ear or auditory nerve causing hearing loss and also damage to organs in the inner ear.

Mixed

This is a combination of the two types of the above two types of hearing loss. It is an irreversible condition caused by an inner ear or auditory nerve disorder, there’s also the possibility of a dysfunction of the middle ear mechanism resulting in low hearing.

85% of people with temporomandibular jaw disorder report symptoms that affect their ears and hearing. TMJ can cause blocked Eustachian tubes, which leads to feelings of stuffiness or clogging, pain, and hearing loss.

Diagnosis

Early diagnosis in TMJ is important to capture the pain and its serious effects including hearing loss. A TMJ specialist can diagnose a TMJ disorder based on a physical examination and medical history. Additionally, X-ray, CT Scan or MRIs can be used to detect the severity of the pain and condition.

Treatment

TMJ disorder can be treated in time and can help restore your hearing loss and ear-related pain and problems.

  • A TMJ specialist might recommend a mouth guard, or splint, to help allow your jaw muscles to relax and recover.
  • Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs as well as muscle relaxants can be prescribed for immediate relief from sore and inflamed muscles.
  • Applying moist heat to the area also helps.
  • If your pain is caused by teeth grinding or a bad bite, you might be recommended to an orthodontist for bite correction therapy.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended to help strengthen the muscles around your jaw.
  • Surgery is the last resort a TMJ specialist might go for depending on the severity of your condition.

We are a TMJ specialized dental clinic in Navi Mumbai. We offer a wide range of dental services and have trained TMJ dentists to address your query. Irreversible hearing loss is a condition not so easy to be taken lightly. Book an appointment with us to know more about the condition and recovery before it’s too late.