TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) and Tinnitus — The Connection? Discuss!

Discussion in 'Support' started by Peggyd, Jun 2, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. Peggyd

      Peggyd Member

      Location:
      Virginia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Anyone else also have TMJ trouble with their tinnitus?

      I have a lot of jaw muscle problems too.

      Has anyone tried any therapies that help with that?

      Peggy
       
    2. SymphonSilencio

      SymphonSilencio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      I have a lot of jaw readjustment and clicking of the jaw throughout the weak. The doctor wanted to sell me a custom molded night guard or whatever its called but the whole thing was too pricey for my liking. I dont think fixing the tmj/ jaw problems will help with reducing or eliminating T directly but I have my notions that if those problems with the jaw get worse T can possibly raise in volume along with it.
       
    3. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Doesn't anyone think that the T came from the TMJ disorder to begin with? If that is the case, isn't there a chance that the T will go away with treatment, i.e., stabilizing orthotic/splint? I have had T for eight months - orthotic for 7 months, some relief, but the T is still there.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      I keep trying to see if someone has any idea if my situation with the TMJ and neck/shoulder issues can be remedied with my treatments, i.e., orthotic, chiropractic manipulation, Accupuncutre Injection Therapy in the jaw area.

      Chicken
       
    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I haven't had injections, but I did try cranial massage, acupuncture, went to Chiro specializing in TMJ and none of those helped out. I am now going to a Chiro who specializes in cervical, nervous system etc for past few months and not really sure if that has helped either at this point. I feel better about my T but that may be because I am used to it or have accepted it more but it is certainly not gone. I think it has decreased in intensity over the past month but I do still have some days when it is loud.
       
    6. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      When I first got tinnitus, I thought that perhaps it was caused by TMJ. My dentist observed that I grind my teeth at teeth. I had a night mouth guard made, which I now wear at night. I'm not sure if has helped reduce my tinnitus.
       
    7. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Erik, my accupuncturist is an oriental doctor who has treated many cases of tinnitus in her time and has indicated that if the sounds changes, as she puts it, meaning goes up and down, that is a good sign. Karl, my neuromuscular dentist has me wearing my orthotic, which was designed specifically to stabilize my jaw, all day long instead of the night which he feels keep my jaw muscles more stabilized. About five months ago, I couldn't open my mouth more than two fingers, now I can do three which is awesome. If only that damn T would go away. My hyperacusis has really improved and the T isn't as throbbing. But it does pulsate when laying down at times. And the T is there during the day but like Erik says maybe I'm just getting used to it. I've read where it can upto two years with TMJ problems. I've read that wearing an orthotic the results start happening after six months.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
    9. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      tried Flexeril and I broke out in a rash - did nothing for the T at all
       
    10. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Chicken -
      I was just brushing my teeth, noticing a seeming reduction in my T, and I was reminded of an old post of Calin's: "Dr. Doullards Tinnitus Treatment". Here's the link:- https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/universal-sound-therapy-ust.166/page-3#post-740
      calin, Jul 3, 2012

      I was thinking, since your tinnitus is related to TMJ, you may find some relief massaging your jaw near your ear with a sonic toothbrush. When I first got tinnitus, this was one of many things I tried. I recall that some people benefitted from this type of massage.
       
    11. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Karl,

      Great news about the reduction in your T. I currently go to an oriental accupuncturist/chiropractor who works on the TMJ. My jaw was actually deviating to the right and now it is much better. I'm also doing accupuncture injection therapy on my right side of the jaw and neck muscles--ouch!! Not sure about the toothbrush thing. When I'm finished brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush my T seems to be a bit louder. I wonder why. Anyway, thank you for your message.
       
    12. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Chicken -
      The toothbrush thing is a massage. It's easy and harmless. I only mention it because one person on this forum actually said his T actually went away for a short time.
       
    13. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Karl,

      I read so many things on this site. The research and trial of many types of medications and procedures is amazing. I just wish the ATA would come out with a medical solution or the ATA team up with some of the organizations/universities that do a great deal of research. I'm still confused on how medical advancements have come so far, but no one can find a solution to this quite bothersome thing. I have tried several things since this started in October and my dentist still believes it muscular. I wish we could just stop grasping at straws and have a viable solution. I don't think TRT and Kevin Hogan's remedy is a solution for me and many others on this site. I also see that most of us really don't know how or why it started. All I know mine started one night after I did something physically on my driveway. But, here is the question, did the T start because of my TMJ and neck strain or did it start out of nowhere? When I plug my ears the T sounds a bit farther away I hope that is a good sign. I use Saline spray every day every four to six hours because when I tilt my head side to side I always had and still do a crackling sound like the eustachian tube is plugged. My ears pop at night when I lay on my T side sometimes. Anyone have any ideas that?
       
    14. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Do you have allergies? My ears are popping, crackling and ticking all the time, my allergist said it is because of nasal congestion and sinus inflammation... Something with air pressure.
       
    15. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      I do - the inflammation makes sense. I'm glad to hear I'm not crazy with the crackling thing - I use Saline Nasal spray all the time - it helps. It's a natural solution, I can't use anything else.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has that crackling sound in the ear! Mine crackles, too, when I move my head from side to side. It's only in the affected ear, too (my right ear) that I hear the crackling. And I don't have any TMJ issues, as far as I know.
       
    17. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Karen,

      How did your T start? Are you sure you don't have a TMJ issue? As far as I know, the crackling could your stapedius muscle or eustachian tube dysfunction probably from inflammation.
       
    18. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      TMJ disorder can be sometimes confirmed with a simple test - just use a sound recording device (most mobile phones nowadays have this function). Place it close to your bed and leave it recording overnight. The sound of teeth grinding at night is surprisingly loud. Maybe I should patent this idea, ha ha.
       
    19. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Fish --- That's a good idea, about recording the sound of teeth grinding at night. Maybe it'll catch on! I'm sure a lot of us simply don't realize that we grind our teeth at night, and might be surprised at how loud it is.

      Chicken, I actually went to a TMJ specialist, to rule out any possible jaw issues. He was unable to find anything. My severe T was caused (as far as I know) by an ototoxic drug, but before that I actually had mild tinnitus for many years (caused by loud sound from speakers --- right ear only).

      Funny you should mention inflammation; I've been taking systemic enzymes for the past couple of months, after reading a post on this forum. The systemic enzymes are supposed to work by first cleansing the body of toxicity, and then reducing inflammation throughout the body. I have noticed a difference in the level of my tinnitus since I've been taking these enzymes. Inflammation may be a factor in some tinnitus cases. At any rate, it seems to be working for me!
       
    20. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Has anyone with TMJ/tinnitus issues and have exercised a bit too strenously, i.e., using neck and shoulders muscles had t go up? Is this normal? my t was doing pretty good and have been getting acupuncture injections in jaw area and neck and shoulder but after doing some exercises the other day, the t seems a bit louder and much more annoying. any comments on this?
       
    21. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yes I think it is normal for T to increase after physical activity but mine usually goes down after a few hours
       
    22. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      I'm confident that once doctors agree on the neurological pathway causing tinnitus they will be able to find ways to alleviate or fix this condition. The ATA needs a consesus about "The Cause". At this point, things are still in the democratic stage, where all ideas are equal. This is frustrating for us, because we want answers and we want them now.

      I'm looking at a 2006 issue of "The Hearing Journal": Says that tinnitus researchers have been looking at the role of an organ called the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN). This organ is implicated in one of the oddities of tinnitus - somatically modulated tinnitus. TMJ and neck related tinnitus are "somatic" type tinnitus. With these types, a person can change the volume of the tinnitus by clenching their jaw, stroking their face or moving their neck:

      "It therefore looks as though somatic modulation of tinnitus is a very common phenomenon, and the implication is that some neural pathway connecting somatic sensation with hearing is present in humans..the DCN is being suggested as a site where interaction between the somatic and auditory systems can take place."

      So, there you go. Add "DCN" to the toolkit.

      Whether it starts in the ear with inner hair damage, or at the DCN, I think the end defective neurological path is a feedback circuit in the central auditory processing system. I don't buy into theories about "irritated nerves", etc.
       
    23. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Karl,

      I would agree with you but for me it seems so coincidental that the T started with tmj and something physical I did, which I would agree with you it is somatic. But, here is the question, wouldn't the T go away with treatment for tmj if that was the case. I don't think there is any nerve damage because my hearing is fine, no dizziness, no vertigo. So I get confused. Why would the DCN be involved in something so muscular in nature? Or at least I thought so.
       
    24. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      chicken -
      The DCN is on the back of your neck. It's a primitive organ that doctors don't know much about. Like the appendix, it's a vestigial organ that has an uncertain primitive purpose. Just a theory that they have, but no conclusions how to fix things.

      I'm not sure what to say about your TMJ. Even though your hearing is fine, the nerves involved with TMJ must be influencing the auditory nerves. That's a given. There's a lot of complex circuitry in the brain stem. It's "Command Central" for all senses in the body.

      I've observed that people on this site with somatic tinnitus have their good days and bad days. Yours seems variable.
       
    25. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      So Karl are you saying that my T is probably permanent with the hopes of just good days or bad days. My neuromuscular dentist thinks different and has said it may take a long time. I respect your opinion.
       
    26. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      chicken -
      As Roy Rogers use to say, "Slow down there, Trigger!".

      I am not a doctor, and in particular, I know very little about TMJ. I'm just a guy who so far has 245 messages on this website and counting. That doesn't give me a diploma - unless it's a diploma in "Blathering".

      Earlier in your postings, you mentioned that you have actually talked to Dr. Jastreboff himself. That's like talking to the "Sigmund Freud of Tinnitus". I recall that he gave you some very positive advice, but you needed time before he can work with you. Listen to him. Don't give up hope.

      As far as myself, I am hoping that my attitude toward tinnitus will get better as I habituate. I'm at 10 months. I've heard it takes 1 to 2 years to reach habituation. And for people who reach that point, tinnitus doesn't seem to matter that much anymore.
       
    27. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      i get very nervous when someone starts mentioning dcn or nerve damage. i had mri's, ct scans, ent visits, so far you guys on this website make more sense than most. but your comments made me laugh--you don't blather.
       
    28. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      I saw this mentioned many times, that tinnitus can be caused by TMJ. It is one of things I suspected may be causing my own T.

      But I have been wondering, what exactly causes T in such case? Is it strained jaw muscles blocking the bloodflow to middle ear? Nerves in ear becoming damaged from jaw pressure? Karl, you read a lot, have you found any info about this?
       
    29. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I was told in 2006 that I had (what turned out to be temporary) TMJ caused by the swelling or inflammation of the joint that connects my lower jaw to my head (skull?). It went away after a few months but sometimes my jaw aches or feels as though it's going to lock.

      The consultant in the Maxillofacial unit told me that there were 'mixed opinions' in the medical profession but the majority agreed that it was caused in most cases by either air pressure changes (many people suffered TMJ for the first time during or after travelling to a higher altitude) or stress and usually manifested itself in people who either had misaligned jaws or problems with their back teeth.

      That's why I visited my dentist the other day - to be booked into hospital to have a wisdom tooth (that has grown in a strange way - pushing the root back and 'up') removed. I don't think it will get rid of the T but it's a possible cause that I have to eliminate (I'd have them all out if I thought it would get rid of the T).

      Unfortunately I can't have it removed by the dentist because for years I've been immune to their injections to numb the teeth - nothing numbs mine except a full out general anaesthetic :cry:
       
    30. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Does anyone know why the T would change in pitch so drastically when yawning: is it a TMJ related item or neurological?

      chicken
       

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