The Relationship Between Your TMD and Ear Pain

Man holding his aching ear due to ear pain

For ear pain sufferers, it’s easy to confuse ear pain as a typical ear infection or earache. However, the most common reason for ear pain is caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can cause a wide range of problems, which typically start at the jaw and then move on to other parts of the body such as the neck, spine and ears, if left untreated. Here are the effects of TMD on your ears and what to do about it.

Types of Temporomandibular Disorders

The sensations associated with TMD include sharp pain that you’re likely to feel when you move your jaw to talk, chew, yawn or even swallow. There are three types of disorders TMD sufferers go through. They are:

  • Myofascial pain, or a deep aching pain in the TMJ muscles.
  • Derangement of the joint, which includes injury to the jaw such as a dislocation.
  • Or a Degenerative disease, such as a form of arthritis that affects the jaw.

The most common is Myofascial pain and it is also the easiest to relive.

The Connection Between TMD and Your Ears

Although TMJ pain affects the tissues surrounding the joint in front of your ears, you could also feel it in surrounding areas along the side of your head, neck, temple, cheek, and teeth. If TMD affects your ears, it could be contributed to a number of reasons:

  • Gum chewing
  • An improper bite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Stress or psychological triggers

These causes generate jaw overuse, muscle spasms, and pressure of the muscles, which then lead to ear pain.

Find Relief for Ear Pain

Applying heat to the area and talking to your doctor about what over-the-counter pain medications to take may be the best solutions. However, if your pain is prolonged, you may want to schedule an appointment with C&C Dentistry. Dr. Ramirez is knowledgable in TMJ Disorder and Neuromuscular Dentistry, which you may be a candidate for. Don’t assume your ear pain is just a simple earache. Call us today!

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