TMJ disorder can be the factor leading to pain in your ears and jaw. Read on to know the symptoms, causes, and remedies for TMJ ear pain.
You generally attribute ear pain to infection or injury. But did you know that the pain you are feeling around your ear might be TMJ pain? TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is very close to your ear. Therefore you can get confused. This condition is also known as TMJ ear pain. TMJ is a critical joint connected to your jaw and many parts of your face, including the ears.
The TMJ disorder is triggered by dysfunction in the jaw, malocclusion, bruxism, etc. In this article, we will describe how and why TMJ causes ear and jaw pain. We will also shed some light upon TMJ ear pain symptoms and tips for relief from TMJ ear pain.
What if Your Ear & Jaw Pains Simultaneously?
If your jaw and ear both are paining together, the chances are high that your problem is dental. The sensation can be a mild ache or severe pain. Possible causes of your ear and jaw paining together are:-
- TMJ Disorder
- Teeth Grinding or Bruxism
- Injury to Sternocleidomastoid Muscle
- Oral Infections Like Abscess
- Injury to the Jaw
- Sometimes, Ear Infection
The TMJ pain is the number one suspect in such situations. You might also feel pain in other parts of your face, like eyes and head, during TMJ disorder. Some lifestyle changes and home remedies can manage TMJ ear pain.
Why TMJ Causes Ear Pain?
Since the ear pain is caused by TMJ disorder, we first need to understand the triggers of TMJ disorder. Several factors could be responsible, such as stress, anxiety, excessive chewing of gums, arthritis, bruxism, etc. Any trauma or injury resulting in jaw displacement also causes unrest in TMJ.
TMJ is not only close to the ears but to other parts of the face as well. Therefore the TMJ ear pain may be accompanied by headaches, eye pain, and sinus pressures.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ Ear Pain?
If your ear pain is accompanied with the following symptoms, it might be due to TMJ disorder:-
- Difficulty in Opening Mouth
- Teeth Grinding
- Neck Pain
- Cheek Pain
- Jaw Pain
- Clicking Jaw
How to Get Relief From TMJ Ear Pain?
You can get relief from TMJ ear pain through the following lifestyle changes, home remedies, and medical treatments.
- Soft Diet
The hard and chewy food can strain your jaw and cause pain. Adopt a TMJ diet of well-cooked meat & veggies, noodles, pasta, scrambled eggs, and other soft foods.
- Physical Therapy
An expert in physical therapy has the hands-on techniques to reduce muscle stiffness and elevate stress from the jaw through trigger points. You can also get relief in chronic pain through physical therapy.
Surgeries are done in rare cases. If there is suspicion of any underlying health condition causing TMJ, you can be prescribed arthroscopy surgery. Arthrocentesis procedure can also be suggested to you.
- Other Treatments
Other treatments like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, friction massage, and cognitive behaviour therapy are also popular to treat severe TMJ ear pain.
TMJ ear and jaw pain can be extremely daunting. You shouldn’t wait for many days if the pain keeps persisting. Instead, visit your trusted dentist at the earliest who can diagnose the issue and prescribe customized and appropriate treatment for you.
Do you suspect that TMJ is the cause of your ear pain? Contact Joshua Hong DDS now to get a complimentary TMJ consultation from our team of experts!