TMJ - TMD disorder can cause ear and jaw pain

Ear and jaw pain can be disorienting, frustrating, and stressful. In the absence of an ear infection, the pain is often related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This area includes not only the jaw joint but also the muscles surrounding it. TMJ ear pain results when the ligament is pinched or compressed between the jaw joint and the ear canal.

TMJ Ear Pain

The ligament and retrodiscal tissue have nerves, blood vessels and other small ligaments which can cause TMJ ear pain. Many people with TMJ and ear symptoms have tinnitus which is presented by ringing or buzzing in the ears. Often the sound can vary from annoying to insufferable. Tinnitus can be the result of a TMJ disorder or compression of the ligament between the jaw joint and ear canal.

Ear pain can also be triggered by muscle pain in the jaw. This tissue is often a major contributor to the pain of the temporomandiabular disfunction (TMD), particularly when there is inflammation or compression within the jaw.

Ear Pain

Ear stuffiness or ear fullness

In the absence of an ear or sinus infection, ear stuffiness or fullness can be caused by trauma or inflammation of the tensor veli palantine muscle. This muscle is attached to the soft palate and to the eustachian tube. It controls the opening and closing of the eustachian tube. The tensor veli palatine muscle is also innervated by the same nerve as the jaw muscles. Chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause this muscle to spasm or become traumatized or inflamed resulting in a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in the ear.

TMJ Ear Pain Treatment

If you are experiencing symptoms from ear jaw pain, ear stuffiness or ear fullness, you don’t need to suffer anymore. Your symptoms may be attributed to TMJ disorder. Contact Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center today for a comprehensive evaluation.

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