Finally Found the Cause for My Tinnitus — TMJ Dysfunction from Clenching and Wisdom Teeth

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by sabrina.t, Sep 4, 2020.

    1. sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Hello! I would consider this a success story as I have finally found the most probable cause for my tinnitus. I am 20 years old and still have my wisdom teeth. On July 7th of this year, the tinnitus in my right ear began. It was so unbearably loud and intrusive... I was convinced that it would never get better. Now it is at a mildly annoying buzzing/ringing. Though it has not gone away, it is so much better (though it does get worse at times). After seeing two different ENT's and getting an MRI, they concluded that the problem was not with my ears or my head at all. There's also no hearing loss to indicate that it is noise-induced. Today I went to an oral surgeon for a consultation about my wisdom teeth and mild pain in the right side of my jaw to see if those pesky teeth could be the cause of my tinnitus or making it worse. They took an X-ray and it turns out the right joint in my jaw is worn down from clenching. You can even see in my front teeth that they are worn down and fit together like puzzle-pieces in some spots because I have been clenching them from stress and anxiety. The surgeon also concluded that I have tendonitis/inflammation in the joint on the right side. He says this could very much be the cause of my tinnitus and the first step is to remove the wisdom teeth, and then treat the clenching with some sort of guard. Hopefully, in taking these steps the tinnitus will get better if not resolve completely.

      For those who may think this could be the cause of your tinnitus too, let me list some of the symptoms I have had experienced throughout this journey. Many are only related to the ear, so I was convinced this was an issue with my ear! I experienced a lot of popping in my ear (as well as in my jaw on the right side), change in both sound and volume of the tinnitus (varied from a high-pitched ringing to a low-pitched humming), pressure in the ear (and jaw most likely from the wisdom teeth), itching in the ear, mild pain in the right side of my jaw, tenderness/pain in the area of the TMJ when I apply pressure to it (on both sides), and a few others. My jaw also does pop/click only on the right side when I open and close it and move it from side to side.

      So yeah, I just wanted to share this because I am very excited that I found the most likely source for this annoying noise in my right ear. If you can't find an obvious cause with your ears and have had no exposure to loud noise, consider TMJ dysfunction and your wisdom teeth if you still have them! Speak to a dentist and an oral surgeon... and good luck with your tinnitus. It gets better <3
       
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    2. ron hudson

      ron hudson Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/1955
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      listening to background musiuc...LOUD
      no surprise, since the ear canal is very close to the jaw. My doctor tells me the hairs in my outer ear canal are bent..resulting from loud noise both music and operating a chop saw. Remedy: wear noise cancelling ear muffs or industrial strength ear plugs. It too late for me since I listened to the background music of the tunes I enjoyed when I was a puppy.
       
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    3. Lyris

      Lyris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for sharing your story. I'm almost certain that problems with my jaw have caused part, if not all of the very bad tinnitus I have in my left ear. I can totally relate to the symptoms you describe. I never got my wisdom teeth removed because they never popped out. I'm considering removing them and getting bite correction, as soon as I can get FT employment and restore my dental insurance.

      I also get the painful clicking/grinding sensation worse on the left side where my original tinnitus began. I only saw improvement to any degree after I started using a night guard - it's about 75% better and I can only really hear it when I'm in a very enclosed space, like a car with the windows rolled up or my bathroom without the fan on. It blared before and made my life so awful. However, I think that it's more of a complex issue than just the jaw, in my case ... I don't doubt I need to see someone for a cervical neck adjustment. If your issues are truly 100% jaw-related, your plan should totally resolve your tinnitus, either immediately or in time.

      Let us know what happens as you progress with treatment - good luck.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Ah, I am so sorry that I am getting to your comment so late. I am so glad to hear your tinnitus has gotten better since using a mouthguard. I do not think I will be able to get one until I get my wisdom teeth out, which will not be until winter break (early December). I have been doing jaw and neck exercises daily for probably about 5 days straight now and have seen a little bit of improvement with the tinnitus. I think my tinnitus may be neck related too since when I turn my head all the way to the right, the tinnitus increases significantly in my right ear.

      Just in case you would like to try out the exercises I have been doing, I'll list what I do right here! And this could be for anyone else who is having similar problems to me and sees this post.

      - Use any ball, even a tennis ball, to roll out the jaw/TMJ area. I do this for a minute on both sides and apply a bit of pressure.
      - I have a roller used for rolling out sore muscles, but if you have some sort of tube-shaped object it should work as well. I use it to roll out each side of my neck (more towards the back, if that makes sense). I do this for one minute on each side and have noticed when I do it, I feel tightness and tenderness in a very specific spot on both sides of my neck.
      - I then tilt my head to the right (head facing forward) and pull it with my right hand, keeping my left shoulder down to stretch the neck. I do this for 2 minutes on each side.
      - I then move my head 45 degrees to the right, tilt my head/chin down, and then turn my head in the direction where my left ear is getting closer to the ceiling (Idk how else to make that make sense LOL) and pull down with my hand to stretch a very specific part of the neck that apparently has an effect on tinnitus. I do this on both sides for 2 minutes.
      - Now I work on my jaw. I open my jaw as far as I can and then using my hand, I pull it farther. I do this for 4 times 30 seconds each.
      - Moving my jaw all the way to the left and then using my hand to push it farther, I hold that for 30 seconds and 3 more times after that. I do this to the other side as well.

      I would recommend giving these exercises a try in addition to your mouthguard/nightguard. It may help! Let me know if any of those did not make sense, as they are sort of hard to describe in words.

      Best of luck with your tinnitus journey <3
       
    5. Nadia231
      Depressed

      Nadia231 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi,

      So happy that you have found the cause of your tinnitus. Can I just ask you how the clenching was diagnosed? Was it only with a normal dental X-ray as you explain in your post?

      I mean, I have always thought that mine could also be related to jaw problems, but my dentist has never mentioned anything about clenching/grinding my teeth.
      I would like to rule out all the possibilities as I don´t seem to find anything that has caused my tinnitus since it started with a very mild ringing in 2015. Now it is screaming...
       
    6. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @sabrina Did you get a jaw MRI or dental cone beam (CBCT) to see if anything is wrong with jaw before starting these excercises?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Yeah! So the oral surgeon showed me on my x-ray that there was proof of me clenching by looking at my jaw bone. At the end of the bone (by the TMJ), on my right side (where I have the much much louder tinnitus) it was worn down and flat when it should be round like it was on my left side. Also, if you look at my front teeth, all of them are worn down in areas where I clench them together. They fit together like puzzle pieces! So yeah, it was diagnosed from the x-ray as well as looking at my teeth.
       
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    8. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @sabrina.t. I addressed my concern with your jaw exercises to the wrong member.

      For anyone with TMJ/D, these method exercises could cause severe truama.
       
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    9. donotringatme

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      I was reading up on an article about TMD exercises and was literally about to do just that. Greg, you keep saving me from further damage hahaha!
       
    10. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @donotringatme One should get radiological exams of jaw and mouth before consideration of exercising. Discussion notes and views from testing then needs to be discussed with your Periodontal or neuromuscular dentist.
      So, before you start exercise, it’s best to check with a dentist to see if it’s likely to be helpful or damaging.

      Most Periodontists show caution to exercising and none would advise using hand to push jaw farther. Damage or more damage can be done to joints, muscles, teeth and/or nerves. Having mouth open forcefully and for too long can cause TMJ/D. When you think about it, extreme exercises will undo splint therapy. The use of warmth and cool is often recommended externally on face, under ears and neck.

      If your jaw isn’t in a healthy position, exercise could be seriously damaging. If your jaw muscles are putting adverse strain on your jaw joints and teeth, the last thing you want to do is make those jaw muscles stronger.

      If your jaw isn’t properly positioned, the exercise itself could be damaging to your jaw joint. Repeated applications of high levels of force could displace, damage, or wear the bone or cushioning cartilage in the jaw joints. Many on different sites, have talked about exercising their jaw repeatedly when they were younger, but then suffering repeated jaw injuries. The elderly need to be very careful with jaw exercises.
       
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    11. donotringatme

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      Yes, I will abstain from any type of exercise, thank god I always check this forum before starting something now haha.

      I can’t wait to visit my first TMJ specialist and then a myofasfial guy who supposedly is good with the jaw. When I called him to book an appointment, his first question was if I have seen a neurologist/neurosurgeon because of the multitude of nerves crossing the affected from tinnitus area. I took it as a good sign.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Oh wow... I did not know that. I was literally given a list from my ENT of the exercises and they say to move my jaw and used my hand to move it even further. I did not mean to spread false information, I was under the impression this was going to help me and others. I guess I will continue the neck exercises and not the jaw ones... I'm kinda sad now I thought I was helping myself and making things better. Now I don't know what to do for my TMD. Guess I'll have to wait months for treatment now.

      I hope I haven't done any further damage... I've only been doing it for less than a week now. I'll stop the jaw exercises immediately.
       
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