Tinnitus (Ringing In Your Ears)

San Francisco Center For TMJ and Sleep Apnea Dr. Larson

Pain and ringing in the ears
The inner ear contains a small structure known as the labyrinth that is a crucial part of the body’s balance, or vestibular, system. The vestibular system also includes the eyes, nerves, bones, and joints. The labyrinth contains fluid that moves around as you move, helping to send signals to the brain about balance and the body’s position. When any part of the vestibular system is disrupted, including the labyrinth, the brain receives mixed signals that can cause a feeling of dizziness or vertigo.

It so happens that the labyrinth is located in your temporal bone in your head – and your TMJ attaches to the skull at the temporal bone as well. So, when misalignment or inflammation from TMD occurs, the fluid in the labyrinth can be disrupted, and its important signals become unclear.

Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing in the ears, but some people also hear it as a roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, and it might affect both of your ears or only one. For some people, it’s a minor annoyance. For others, it can interfere with sleep and grow to be a source of mental and emotional anguish.

Those who suffer from Tinnitus have also been known to say the noise sounds like hissing, roaring, buzzing or clicking. The pain may be worsened or relieved by opening the jaw. The sounds can be soft or incredibly loud and the case can range from mild to severe. The more severe cases have been known to keep people up at night and cause a significant deal of frustration. These noises can be heard in either both ears or just one; it depends on the case. There is no set length for those who suffer from Tinnitus. The noises can last months, years or a lifetime. However, Tinnitus has been known to be a common side effect from those who suffer from TMJ Disorder (TMJ/TMD), or in long form: Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

How TMJ and Tinnitus Are Connected

Tinnitus has been known to be a symptom of TMJ in many cases. These two are commonly experienced by the same individuals. The eardrum is located very close to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint at issue in cases of TMD. If the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, it can affect the eardrum. The inflammation of the joint can affect the stabilization of the eardrum, which can cause the pain and noise associated with Tinnitus.

To learn more about the TMJ and Sleep Apnea Treatments and Services we provide or to schedule an appointment, please contact your San Francisco Center For TMJ & Sleep Apnea expert Dr. Larson Today at (415) 872-5116

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