November 6, 2018
If you’ve been having jaw pain that hinders your ability to open and close your mouth comfortably, there is a chance that you are suffering from a condition called TMJ (temporomandibular) dysfunction. This is a serious issue that can also have adverse effects on your ears as well. As you continue reading, learn more about the TMJ in Lakeway, how it can impact your hearing and what can be done to restore your health.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is a hinge-point that is located on both sides of your jaw close to your ears. It helps to open and close your jaw and allows it to move side-to-side, in an elliptical and forward-and-back.
Because the joint is so dynamic and is used so often in your normal daily functions, it can become inflamed and the cartilage can wear, which can cause the joint to slip out of place. This can lead to inflammation and pain, which is classified as TMJ dysfunction (TMD).
How TMD Affects the Ears
Not only does premature wear of the TMJ cause jaw pain and immobility, it can also lead to the following ear problems simply because of its proximity:
- Pain from the local nerves transferring distress signals to the ear
- Fluid retention in the inner ear tubes
- Hearing loss that is triggered by the fluid retention
- Balance issues related to the hearing loss
What Causes TMD?
Some of the factors that can contribute to TMD are:
- Bite changes
- Lifestyle changes
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
Thankfully, all of these conditions can be treated to aid in restoring your jaw and ear health to normal.
The first goal of therapy is to relieve the tension that is causing the dysfunction. Some of the treatment options are the usage of warm moist heat, topical anti-inflammatories, bite splint therapy and physical therapy. For more acute cases, there may be a need for more complex care, which could include surgery.
Many times, by treating TMD directly, peripheral issues like ear pain, inflammation and hearing loss can be resolved as well. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your family dentist in Lakeway to schedule a consultation.
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Eaddy earned his DDS degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry. He then went on to complete his Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. An extensive educational background that includes orthodontics, allows Dr. Eaddy to provide the expert care you need for TMD at Eaddy Dentistry. He can be reached for more information through his website.
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