One of the most significant links in the human body is the link between ear pain and TMJ present just below the ear.
The temporomandibular joint is a disc that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. This joint is responsible for many essential functions such as jaw movement, talking, chewing, even inhaling etc. All in all, it’s an important part of our facial structure.
This joint can sometimes hurt due to a number of reasons, and the pain, if not taken care of, may lead to facial complications such as ear pain
and movement restriction. These complications can be symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
Understanding the Relationship between Ear Pain and TMJ
The TM joint and jaw muscles have the same nerve pathways that control muscle movement and performance. The muscle that is responsible for the size of the eustachian tube controlling air pressure, is affected by the same nerves controlling the jaw muscles. So if a problem arises in the jaw muscles, one can expect the ear muscles to be affected as well. This is why TMJ patients feel that their ear is clogged and stuffy, often accompanied by a numbing, ringing sound because of the pressure change caused by those muscles.
Other symptoms of TMJ are the constant headaches and jaw pain that can occur while doing the simplest of tasks such as talking and chewing. Migraines, vertigo and numbness of the fingertips are also other indicators of a TMJ disorder. Not only that, people suffering from TMJ will have that constant ringing in their ear known as tinnitus, which is considered very distracting and unnerving because jaw movement can cause a change in the intensity and pitch of the ringing.
What is the Solution?
There are some home remedies you can use to decrease the pain. However, if it is persistent then it is important to visit a doctor.
Use Soft and Easily Chewable Food
Usually dentists including Dr. Jones will recommend that you stop eating hard-to-chew food which can put an unnecessarily strain on your jaw muscles. This includes hard vegetables, hard fruits, chewing gum, hard crusted bread or stubborn red meat. Avoid these so that no unwanted strain is put on the jaw causing your ears to start ringing again.
Antihistamines and Muscle Relaxants
Anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories are prescribed by almost every doctor as they help a lot in removing any swelling or inflammation
in either your gums or your jaws. Muscle relaxants help a lot in giving much needed relief to the muscles. You need to take a proper course of anti-inflammatory medication so that all the inflammation is gone completely and no other complications arise.
If you are still in the dark about what the relationship between ear pain and the TMJ is, please do not hesitate to give us a call
on (828) 438-1930. Dr. Bruce Jones will be more than happy to provide you with the best oral care and quality advice in Valdese.