The Crucial Link Between TMJ and Dizziness


Disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and dizziness often go hand in hand. Dizziness often involves nausea, spinning, faintness, or light-headedness. Frequently, people who suffer from dizziness have difficulties describing the feeling accurately. Certainly, there is a definite connection between disorder of the TMJ and dizziness

Dizziness with TMJ disorders is usually more of a balance issue rather than a feeling of light-headedness. The sensation you feel is that of falling over rather than fainting. 

Why Does Dizziness Accompany TMJ disorders?

Dizziness may occur if you have any TMJ disorder. It is an irregular symptom that originates from the jaw area. In reality, the inflammation around the TMJ travels from the jaw area. From that region, it spreads into the ear as it is less than an inch away from the jaw. When the inflammation travels toward the middle or inner part of the ear, it affects your sense of balance and hearing. Delicate and sensitive structures within each ear take care of your knowledge of position with your surroundings. When this part becomes swollen, then imbalance or dizziness may occur. Sometimes, even vertigo.

Other conditions that can cause disorder of the TMJ and dizziness are infections. Whether the infection is in the ear, mouth or salivary glands, it can result in inflammation, pain, swelling and dizziness simultaneously. In the absence of fever and other infectious symptoms, and with a normal examination of the mouth and ear, TMJ becomes more likely the diagnosis. Likewise, if jaw popping, clicking or misalignment exists, TMJ diagnosis is likely.

TMJ Symptoms

  • Difficulty in opening the mouth
  • Cheek pain
  • Clicking jaw
  • TMJ pain
  • Jaw locking
  • Teeth grinding
  • Neck pain
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Tinnitus

Most temporomandibular joint symptoms are less common than others. However, these symptoms happen regularly. As a general rule, the greater the infection or inflammation, the more likely the dizziness often occurs. These TMJ symptoms often develop as a result of the spreading of inflammation. The good news is that when the treatment for TMJ has begun, then the dizziness also disappears reasonably quickly. 

A Study Links to TMJ Inflammation

When individuals experience pain or malfunction in the jaw joint, it is usually called TMD (temporomandibular disorder or dysfunction). The term TMD is an umbrella term, which covers different problems in the jaw joint. 

TMD patients often report feeling dizzy or experience an uncomfortable whirling sensation. When they feel dizzy, they are put in danger of losing their balance and falling over and getting injured further. There are sensors within your inner ear that continuously monitor the body’s position and response to gravity. These sensors transmit signals to the eye and limb muscles to make the proper adjustments and keep your equilibrium. This process all happens unconsciously. It occurs by way of your reflexes. TMJ disorder interferes with this process. How? 

A team of Korean researchers experimented to see if the vestibular nuclei were affected in cases of jaw inflammation through simulating TMD in animal models. The team used two group sets of rats. They injected the first group with an inflammatory agent in the right TMJ. The second group was a control group injected in the right TMJ with normal saline. After 24 hours, they proceeded to study the neural activity in the vestibular nuclei. Expectedly, they noted signs of increased activity in the vestibular nuclei on both sides in both the experimental and control sets. There was much higher activity in the nuclei of the experimental rats on the inflamed jaw side provided grounds for expecting that symptoms of dizziness might well replicate abnormal vestibular activity as a consequence of TMJ inflammation.

What To Do in Case of Dizziness

Get relief from dizziness by being prepared. Stay safe whenever a dizzy spell happens to you. You can rest safely by doing the following:

  • Whenever possible, stop what you are doing. Stop moving.
  • Lie down or sit down
  • Take deep breaths
  • Try to relax the muscles of your face and mouth
  • Focus on a fixed point for several minutes. This action transmits signals to the brain that can help stabilize your balance. 

Relieve Both Disorder of the TMJ and Dizziness

There are many options available in the medical community. If you have tried other medical solutions that did not work for you correctly, then upper cervical chiropractic care may be the right one for you. Upper cervical care can relieve both disorders of the TMJ and dizziness.

It is a gentle method to correct the misalignment of the C1 and C2 bones, which is often the very cause of TMJ disorder and dizziness. Upper cervical chiropractors do not perform popping or cracking of the neck or spine to get good results. Instead, they realign the bones through a series of mild adjustments. Their method does not stress the body but gives it ample time to heal on its own. Many patients have seen an improvement in their dizziness and TMJ symptoms after receiving this unique form of therapy.

Get an appointment from an upper cervical doctor near your location to learn how to alleviate your specific concerns about your TMJ and dizziness. You can browse for an upper cervical chiropractor using the search function on this website.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.