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Michigan Head & Neck Institute

Can TMJ Cause Ear Problems?

The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located on both sides of the face, near the ears. They are responsible for helping the jaw move vertically and horizontally. When they become injured or strained by excessive stress, they can cause a variety of problems that can interfere with everyday life. Fortunately, our experienced TMJ dentist is skilled in diagnosing and treating common TMJ problems.


What’s Causing Your TMJ Issues?

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are very common and can stem from a variety of causes. Some of these include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Pre-existing problems with the bite
  • Trauma to the jaw or surrounding areas
  • Arthritis

Even seemingly unrelated injuries like whiplash can contribute to the development of TMD. If treatment for TMJ in Michigan is not received right away, long-term problems can result, including permanent displacement of the TMJ disc.

can tmj cause ear problems


Your Treatment Options

Once our TMJ dentist has determined that you have TMD, you’ll be given a personalized treatment plan. Whenever possible, we take the most conservative treatment approach we can. A few of our treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy (including massage of the TMJ joints and surrounding areas, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and heat applications)
  • Corrective orthotics (to be worn at night or daily as needed)
  • Pain-relieving injections to manage uncomfortable symptoms
  • Stress-reduction guidance

If these minimally-invasive treatments are not effective, surgery may be recommended in rare and extreme cases.


Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ problems can exhibit a variety of symptoms. Some of the most common include:

  • Buzzing or ringing in the ears
  • Ear congestion (or feeling of fullness in the ears)
  • Pain around the ears, face, eyes, neck or shoulders
  • Chronic headaches
  • Clicking, grinding or popping noises when you move your jaw
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness and/or blurred vision

Any of these symptoms on their own could be indicative of a completely unrelated problem. However, if you experience several of them at once, TMD is a likely culprit.


Schedule Your Consultation

If you think you have TMJ problems, we’d love to help. Fill out our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more about your treatment options.

Schedule a Consultation (586) - 573 - 0438




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© Copyright 1985 - 2020 Michigan Head & Neck Institute

The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other materials are for informational purposes only. While there are many commonalities among multiple TMD and sleep apnea cases, each patient is unique. Information on this website should be used to educate the reader about what they should discuss with their doctor if they are suffering from the listed symptoms. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or you may call our office with any questions you may have regarding TMD or sleep apnea. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Disclaimer: This site contains selective use of the term 'specialist.' There is no recognized specialty in TMJ. For more information, please contact us.