Why TMJD and Tinnitus Are Often an Unpleasant Duo

tmj, tinnitus, TMJ and ear pain

Do you suffer from jaw pain and have an irritating ringing sound in your ears too? Are you desperately looking for explanations as to why these two symptoms often come hand in hand? Is it possible to address both so you can live normally again? 

Just like most patients diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorders, you might have browsed pages after pages of content – online and offline – in hopes of grasping your diagnosis and setting reasonable and logical expectations. You want to find better ways to work around your TMJ and ear pain so they don’t cause too many interruptions in your life. 

But, why does this unpleasant duo often show up together? Is it possible that they stem from the same things? What’s the best care option you can use to cope with your TMJD symptoms? Let’s dive deep into these topics as we investigate the connection between TMJD pain and tinnitus.


Tracing the Connection: Why Jaw Pain and Tinnitus Occur Together

To understand how the two conditions relate to one another, you might find it helpful to know how they develop and affect your body in the first place. Here’s a brief discussion of the two health problems: 

TMJ Disorders

Jaw pain that stems from TMJ disorders is among the worst symptoms you can experience in your lifetime. The condition primarily develops when the joint holding the two jaw bones becomes inflamed. Studies note several potential triggers or causes of TMJD, and these include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching (night/day)
  • In-born jaw malocclusions
  • Dislocated discs due to spinal misalignments
  • Acute trauma 
  • Stress


Hearing a ringing sound in the ear without warning can be disturbing and frustrating. Researchers and medical professionals have yet to ascertain how tinnitus develops, but studies widely associate it with TMJ disorders because of their shared nerve signal pathways in the brain. Some also insist that the ringing sound results from a musculoskeletal problem influenced by a damaged or irritated TMJ. As a result, people diagnosed with TMJD are more prone to hearing buzzing sounds in their ears than those without a painful jaw condition.

Doctors and other healthcare professionals focusing on helping patients cope with tinnitus and TMJ continue looking into the connection between the two. It would be exciting to see more research papers and definitive patient guides that can help turn the tide for people plagued by ringing sounds in the ears and chronic jaw pain. 

But in the meantime, you can take comfort in the fact that an Upper Cervical Chiropractic can help you address or at least minimize the recurrence of both symptoms.

tmj, tinnitus, TMJ and ear pain

Get Help for TMJ and Ear Pain: Book Your Appointment with an Upper Cervical Doctor

Besides the shared neurological pathways and musculoskeletal connection, TMJ and tinnitus have one more thing in common: they develop in people with traumatic neck and head injuries. And this might be because of the atlas and axis bones – the topmost neck bones that encase the brainstem.

When these bones misalign after an accident or an injury, they affect the structures attached to them. These include muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and various connective tissues. The unnatural shifting on these bones can also twist other vertebral bones, leaving you at risk for worse posture problems and nervous system signal interruptions. As a result, you develop chronic or persistent health problems like jaw pain, neck pain, and ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears.

So, if you’ve previously hurt or injured your neck, you might find it helpful to consult a TMJ chiropractor. This way, you can have your atlas and axis bones examined and determine if Upper Cervical Care is a good fit for you. The sooner you can have your neck bones assessed by an Upper Cervical doctor, the quicker you can help your body heal and function smoothly again. 

Call a friendly TMJ Upper Cervical doctor in your city to schedule your first appointment.


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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.