Tinitus is basically the perception of a ringing sound in the ears, although at times this sound can be somewhat like buzzing, roaring or clicking. Most people can relate to experiencing temporary tinitus or ‘ringing ears’ after a loud concert. Chronic tinitus is a problem that affects many people. However, unlike the temporary form, tinitus that is chronic and severe can be very distressing and even interfere with daily work or sleep.
Tinitus means an underlying problem exists; and can be caused due to reasons as varied as high blood pressure, neurological issues, medications, ear infection or trauma. One of the most common reasons for tinitus is jaw joint disorder. The jaw joint or the temporomandibular joint, called TMJ in short, is a complex joint. TMJ disorders or TMD are a common problem encountered in the dental office.
As the teeth of upper and lower jaws meet, they guide the TMJ into position. So, missing teeth, worn down teeth or poorly made dentures, all can cause the TMJ to become badly aligned. A misaligned TMJ is usually the root cause of TMD, which can arise from a bad bite, habitually grinding teeth or even trauma.
As the jaw joint is misaligned, it pushes too far backwards, usually stressing the jaw muscles, including the sensitive muscles of the middle ear that lies just behind it. As this middle ear tissue is chronically stressed and inflamed, it often causes tinitus. Headaches, fatigue and vague muscular pain in the jaw or neck are other symptoms of TMD, which can usually be diagnosed by a dentist.
TMD can be effectively managed by specialised dentistry, and TMD therapy including dental restorations, appliance therapy and management of sleep disorders such as bruxism. Consult our dental team at Fielder Park Dental in Arlington, TX for detailed information.