If you have tinnitus, you know that it is a problem in the ears – a ringing or buzzing in the ears that you may have occasionally or even all the time. But you may not know that your dentist may be able to help you find relief from tinnitus, with TMJ treatment.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is quite common, but it can be very difficult to determine the exact cause for each person. Some may notice a ringing in the ears after a head or neck injury or after taking a certain kind of medication for a period of time, but other causes of tinnitus can include hearing loss or a chronic health problem. Recently, studies have indicated a link between TMJ and tinnitus.
The TMJ and tinnitus link
“TMJ” is short for the “temporomandibular joint,” but it is also a term to refer to disorders of the jaw. Problems arise when this joint becomes misaligned or damaged, which can cause muscle aches, headaches, ear pain, and even pain while eating or talking.
Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why some patients with TMJ develop tinnitus, it makes sense that there may be a link between the two because the muscles involved in the jaw are so close to the muscles in the ear.
How can my dentist help with my tinnitus?
Of course, treatment for tinnitus depends on what is causing it. Your doctor can give you a thorough exam to try to pinpoint the exact cause. And your dentist can help, too, by examining your teeth and jaw to determine if anything is out of alignment and if you may have TMJ.
Your dentist may recommend Invisalign or orthodontics to help move your teeth into alignment, an implant to replace a missing tooth to help improve your bite, or an orthotic that will reposition your bite and help your jaw muscles to relax.
If you are looking for help to relieve TMJ, make an appointment at Arlington Dental Aesthetics in Arlington or South Riding Smiles in South Riding. Call the Arlington office at (703) 214-3183 or the South Riding Smiles office at (703) 214-3185!