Do you ever have a pain in your jaw that won't go away? Or maybe you've been feeling pressure or fullness in your ear that comes and goes. If so, you may be one of the many people we see here at Karl Hoffman Dentistry who suffer from TMJ and ear pain. This post will explain how these two conditions are related and what you can do to get relief. So keep reading to learn more!
What Is the TMJ?
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. It's responsible for opening and closing your mouth as well as moving it from side to side. If you experience pain in this area, it's likely due to TMJ dysfunction (TMD).
What Is TMD?
TMD is a condition that can cause pain in the jaw, temples, and ears. It occurs when the muscles or joints of the TMJ are not working correctly. This can lead to popping or clicking noises when you move your jaw, headaches, and ear pain.
How Are TMJ and Ear Pain Related?
There are several ways that TMJ and ear pain can be related. Let's take a look at them:
When you experience TMD, the muscles and joints of your jaw can become tired and irritated - which can lead to ear pain. The same is true for TMJ dysfunction that causes headaches. In addition, if the pressure in your head builds up from bruxism (teeth grinding), it may cause an ache in your ears as well as behind the eyes or even down into your neck and shoulders!
Another way they're related is through misalignment of the upper cervical spine, also known as cervicogenic dizziness. This type of dizziness occurs when one part of this area moves more than normal while another stays still (as opposed to other forms of dizziness, such as inner ear or middle ear problems). When this happens, you may feel like your world is spinning, and it's incredibly uncomfortable.
"Rocking" the jaw can also cause both TMJ and ear pain at once. This means that when you open and close your mouth while moving only the jaw (instead of opening wide), each movement will put more pressure on the joints in your ears than usual, leading to pain!
Getting Relief At The Dentist
TMJ and ear pain are very complex conditions that require a combination of treatments to get relief. To find out what's causing your pain, schedule an appointment with us. We will perform a thorough exam followed by necessary x-rays or imaging tests. In most cases, you'll leave the office with a treatment plan designed specifically for your needs! We might even suggest a mouth guard or nightguard to wear while you sleep.
You can also find relief for this pain by visiting a chiropractor. They will perform an exam of your spine and nervous system to look for any misalignments contributing to the pain. They will likely adjust your spine to restore proper alignment and relieve pressure on the nerves if they find one. This can help reduce or eliminate your TMJ and ear pain!
TMJ Pain Characteristics
The pain associated with TMJ dysfunction can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common symptoms include pain in the jaw, temples, or ears; popping or clicking noises when you move your jaw; headaches; and pressure or fullness in the ear. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek treatment immediately!
If you are experiencing any pain in your jaw, temples, or ears, it is vital to see a dentist right away. At Karl Hoffman Dentistry, our dentists are fully capable of diagnosing and treating TMJ dysfunction, which can effectively eliminate ear pain. Call us on 360-539-3429, and we will be glad to assist.