Tmd and tinnitus relationship

Does jaw joint problem (TMD) cause tinnitus?

The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (Tme), that is, our jaw joint, is the joint structure that allows both lateral and forward movement during chewing.

The muscles that move the jaw are in the strongest muscle group in the body. This means that fairly large forces must act through the TME. As a result, the joint is as at risk as any other weight-bearing joint in the body. TMJ problems are characterized by disorders of the muscles of this region, jaw joint abrasions, traumas and inflammations (arthritis).

TMJ diseases are defined as a group of disorders involving the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint and related structures, according to the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. Its findings are characterized by pain in the jaw and surrounding tissues during jaw movements, limitation of jaw movements, and sounds in the form of clicks and crepitations.

As an anatomical position, the middle ear is connected to some muscle groups around it, especially with the neck, when we consider that there is movement biomechanics with the neck, c0 c1 c2 spines and nerves to the muscle groups associated with the neck. For these reasons, it is thought that there may be a connection with tinnitus depending on the tingling problems.

In studies with 951 consecutive patients at the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, University of Regensburg, Germany. Twenty-five patients with TMD and concurrent tinnitus were included in the study. Initial examination consisted of a detailed functional analysis, diagnosis of temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscle disorder, and a tinnitus questionnaire. Patients were examined 3 to 5 months after treatment procedures were finished. The prevalence of tinnitus was 8 times higher in participants with TMD (30 out of 82 [36.6%]) than in participants without TMD (38 out of 869 [4.4%]). All participants with unilateral TMD and unilateral tinnitus showed these conditions on the same side. It improved tinnitus symptoms in 11 (44%) of 25 participants after treatment.

Another study was conducted to confirm the relationship between tinnitus and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Fifty-five patients aged 18 to 60 years without hearing impairment affected by subjective tinnitus were recruited. All patients underwent temporo-mandibular joint examination. The same splint treatment was applied to all subjects. Comparison between pre- and post-treatment stage scores showed a statistically significant decrease in patients with TMD predisposition and TMD. The characteristics of tinnitus and the degree of response to treatment confirmed the relationship between tinnitus and TMD.

In the light of this information, when the most common causes of tinnitus such as otological disorders and neurological diseases are excluded, it is believed that it is correct to evaluate the functionality of the temporo-mandibular joint and ultimately treat its pathology in order to heal and even resolve tinnitus.

What are the treatment options?

-Patient education and preventive treatment

-Splint treatment

-Exercises

-Physiotheraphy

-Chiropractic

-Psychological support

-Regulation of nutrition

-Surgical methods in advanced dysfunctions

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