Tinnitus is a condition marked by a ringing in the ears. It is quite common, affecting approximately 20% of the population. The noise in your ears can range from mild ringing to a roaring, hissing, or clicking sound. Generally, tinnitus is actually symptomatic of some other underlying condition, such as an ear injury, circulatory system issue, age-related hearing loss, or trauma to the TMJ joint.
While tinnitus can be quite bothersome and interfere with your daily life, it can often be treated. Depending on the nature of your condition, Houston TMD dentist Dr. Ronald Konig will recommend a treatment course that will either address the underlying cause of your tinnitus or simply reduce the noise you experience. It is important to have an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist rule out medical problems.
Causes of Tinnitus
There are a variety of conditions which may cause or exacerbate your tinnitus. However, it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
Tinnitus is frequently the result of damage to the inner ear cells. Your inner ear contains minute hairs which move in association to the pressure created by sound waves. When these hairs move, they send an electrical impulse from your auditory nerve to your brain. If these hairs become damaged, they may transmit random signals to your brain, which you experience as ringing in the ears.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
The primary symptom of tinnitus is hearing sound when there is none present. You may experience the following types of phantom noises:
TMD and Tinnitus
There are two primary muscles which affect the inner ear:
- Tensor levi palatine – This muscle assists in opening and closing the Eustachian tubes which are responsible for regulating air pressure in your ears.
- Tensor tympani – This muscle is responsible for stabilizing the ear drum.
Both of these muscles are linked to your jaw, and they move whenever your jaw moves. If your jaw is being overworked or the joint compressed toward your ear due to your bite, as a result of TMD, the muscles in your ear may be affected as well. As a result, your ear canal may become overly sensitive and you may develop tinnitus.
Generally, if you experience some of the other symptoms of TMD such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, or jaw pain, your tinnitus may be alleviated by the principles of neuromuscular dentistry. Dr. Konig can recommend a variety of TMD treatment options which may help remedy the issues associated with your tinnitus.
If you believe that your tinnitus may be the result of TMD, please contact our Houston, Texas TMD dentist today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Konig. Serving Sugar Land, Houston, Galveston and Katy, Texas.
Ronald W. Konig, DDS 713-668-2289
Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry
2201 West Holcombe, Suite 300, Houston, TX 77030