Tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears, can also be considered an oral health complaint. That does not seem possible, but tinnitus may result from temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMD) or the grinding and clenching of the teeth. The following details provide further explanation.
Bruxism and Tinnitus: The Link
When you grind your teeth, you place pressure on the ball-and-socket joint of the jaw known as the temporomandibular joint. (TMJ). This type of pressure also affects the nerves in the ear, as the joint is located in front of the ears. Therefore, you can hear buzzing, ringing, or whistling sounds because of the pressure. The sounds you hear, because of tinnitus, result from the bone’s response to the grinding and clenching of the teeth. The more you clench and grind your teeth, the more severe the tinnitus. Not everyone who clenches and grinds their teeth will get tinnitus though. Tinnitus is just one of the side effects of the disorder.
Your Oral Health: How It Can Also Lead to Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
If your teeth deteriorate, either from bruxing or decay, it can also lead to tinnitus and hearing loss. The bacteria that result from decay and infection enter the bloodstream and can damage the nerves in the ear, which causes hearing difficulties.
How to Treat Oral-Related Tinnitus
You have to find the underlying oral health cause for the tinnitus if that is the reason for the condition. For example, depending on the severity of TMD or bruxism, a patient may receive nerve stimulation treatments to relax the nerve under pressure or may wear an oral appliance at night to prevent tooth grinding and clenching. In other cases, patients need to have oral surgery to correct TMD and keep them, if applicable, from grinding and clenching their teeth.
Do you have a problem with ringing in the ears? If so, contact us today to find out if your hearing difficulties may be because of TMD or bruxism. Schedule an appointment for a consultation now to see how the problem might be resolved.