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Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center - Brett Sullivan, DMD, MD
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Tinnitus from TMD - A Hidden Trigger for Mood Disorders


Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
3D rendered xray of a skull with the TMJ highlightedTinnitus, the persistent ringing or buzzing sound in the ears, is often associated with hearing loss. But what many people don't realize is that tinnitus can also be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and this combination can have a profound impact on mental health.

The Link Between TMD and Tinnitus


TMJ is a condition that affects the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull. When the joint is injured or misaligned, it can lead to pain, clicking, or locking of the jaw. In some cases, it can also trigger tinnitus.

The exact mechanism behind this link is still being studied, but it is believed that the inflammation and pressure associated with TMD can irritate the nerves in the ear, causing tinnitus.

The Psychological Impact of Tinnitus from TMD


Tinnitus is a constant reminder of an underlying medical condition, which can be highly distressing. This distress can lead to:


[[BulletList:Depression: Persistent tinnitus can disrupt sleep, impair concentration, and decrease overall quality of life. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression.;Anxiety: The uncertainty and fear surrounding tinnitus can trigger anxiety. People may worry about the cause of their tinnitus, its potential impact on hearing, or the possibility of permanent hearing loss.

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Prevention and Treatment


The best way to prevent tinnitus from TMD is to address the underlying TMJ dysfunction. Regular dental check-ups can help identify and treat TMJ early on, before it leads to more severe symptoms.

Treatment options for TMJ-related tinnitus may include:

•  Occlusal adjustment: Correcting misalignments in the bite
•  Night guards: Worn to reduce stress on the TMJ during sleep
•  Medications: Anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants to relieve pain and inflammation
•  Physical therapy: Exercises to strengthen and improve range of motion in the TMJ



Seeking Professional Help


If you are experiencing tinnitus and suspect it may be related to TMD, it is important to seek professional help promptly. An oral examination, X-rays, and possibly a referral to a specialist can help determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

By addressing the root problem of TMD, you can not only alleviate the physical symptoms but also mitigate the associated psychological effects of tinnitus, improving your overall well-being.



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