TMJ disorders can be very painful and may lead to other symptoms besides jaw pain, clicking when using the jaw, and limited range of jaw mobility. In fact, TMJ disorders are often associated with hearing problems such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Why is this the case? Read on to learn more about the connection between the jaw and the ear as well as the neck.
The Radiating Pain of TMJ Problems
When someone suffers from TMJ, the pain is rarely just in the jaw. Pain can radiate up to the ear and down into the neck. This is the first indicator that these parts of the body are linked. So why are patients with TMJ pain more likely to suffer from tinnitus? There are three main reasons.
- The muscles used to chew and the muscles that affect the inner ear are very close to one another.
- The ligaments that attach the jaw bone may directly affect the middle ear.
- The nerves that are related to jaw pain are linked to the part of the brain that controls hearing.
Of course, the main common denominator is the neck. The atlas (C1 vertebra) is in close proximity to both the jaw and the ear. This makes a misalignment here something that can affect jaw pain and hearing problems.
What to Do About TMJ Pain
If you are suffering from jaw pain, even if you do not also experience tinnitus at this time, the underlying cause may very well be an upper cervical subluxation. To find out, all you need to do is get an examination from an upper cervical chiropractor. Once a misalignment is discovered, it can be corrected using very little force. This leads to a long-lasting correction that gives the jaw, ear, or other affected parts of the body time to heal.