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Young woman have headache migraine stress or tinnitus - noise whistling in her ears.

Ringing of the Ears can be an intense lifestyle change for those that have developed Tinnitus. But those experiencing Jaw Pain or TMJ often wonder if Tinnitus can be cause by TMJ? Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is largely associated with age- or noise-related hearing loss. Increasing studies have shown that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders may be a root cause of tinnitus. The condition of Tinnitus can become more common as people age and begin to lose their hearing. Tinnitus is usually described as intense sounds of ringing, buzzing and humming to many people suffering from these symptoms.

A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis of multiple studies found that the prevalence of tinnitus was higher in people with TMJ disorders than in people without TMJ disorders. This may be due to the proximity of the inner ear to the TMJ.  The cochlea, the inner part of the ear transforms sound waves into electrical impulses that the brain translates into recognizable sounds. Damage to the hair cells in the cochlea is a catalyst for tinnitus. The cochlea is located next to the temporomandibular joint, irritation and inflammation in the joint may damage the cochlea and other parts of the inner ear. This may cause subjective tinnitus.

Tinnitus related to TMJ disorders is sometimes referred to as a type of somatic tinnitus. Somatic tinnitus is defined as tinnitus that’s caused by a musculoskeletal problem.

Researchers involved in a 2019 study noted that people with tinnitus and TMJ disorders might make up a specific tinnitus subtype. Their reasoning was based on this group’s responsiveness to specific treatments. Some people with tinnitus and TMJ disorders were able to reduce tinnitus symptoms through movements of the head and jaw. Music and sound stimulation also had a beneficial effect. Research data from as far back as 1997 found that treating TMJ disorders helps alleviate tinnitus in people with both conditions. However, recent studies suggest more research is needed to confirm this connection.

The American Tinnitus Association is in favor of treating TMJ disorders to alleviate tinnitus that’s caused by problems with the joint can be beneficial for those suffering effects of Tinnitus and TMJ Pain.

TMJ Pain Relief in New York City By Dr. Nojan Bakhtiari

For some people experiencing pain from TMJ, at-home pain relief exercises may not be enough to properly treat or relieve these symptoms. Dr. Bakhtiari has extensive experience and training in diagnosing and treating TMJ and headaches. He will help you determine whether your headache, jaw and facial pain, is due to a migraine, tension-type headache or due to TMJ.

TMJ Treatment options vary depending on the individual suffering from TMJ and the specifics of their condition. Since TMJ/TMD can affect the musculature, tendons, bones and joint of the jaw, a thorough examination and diagnosis is paramount prior to initiating any treatment. Treatments include therapeutic injections of muscles and the joints, custom fabricated orthotics (also called splints, mouth guards, nightguards or occlusal guards), medications, creams, botox©, jaw stretching exercises, and physical therapy.