any people struggle with TMJ pain. However, it’s not something that you just have to live with. Perfect White Smile of Beverly Hills offers a few options for treating ear pain and other symptoms associated with TMD.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull on either side of the head. The joint allows you to move your jaw back and forth, side to side, and up and down. When overused or injured, you can develop TMD, which is a painful inflammatory condition that can cause additional issues such as ear pain.
Why Does TMJ Ear Pain Occur?
One of the most common symptoms of TMD is ear pain. The primary reason this occurs is due to the proximity of the joint to the auditory canal. Tinnitus, which is a ringing sound in the ear is part of TMJ ear pain.
Symptoms of TMJ Ear Pain
Common symptoms of TMJ ear pain include:
- Pain in the ear can be a dull, throbbing pain or a sharp, searing pain
- Pain is usually worse at night or early in the morning
- The sensation of fullness in the ears
- Reduction in hearing acuity
Options for TMJ Ear Pain Treatment
Perfect White Smiles in Beverly Hills offers several options for treating ear pain and other symptoms associated with TMD. We start with the most conservative and only escalate to surgical options if necessary.
Physical Therapy and Exercises
Typically, dentists start with the most conservative treatment possible, which is physical therapy and jaw exercises. Many times, these are combined with non-surgical options.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Non-surgical options include:
Oral appliances such as mouth guards and oral splints reduce the effects of bruxism by placing the jaw in a better position. While you can purchase a mouthguard over-the-counter, it’s best to get a custom-fitted one from the dentist.
Things such as avoiding chewing on ice and working on improving your posture can be used to treat Tover counter Injections
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, therapy uses volt electrical currents to relax muscles.
Ultrasound therapy delivers heat deep into the tissues, which increases blood flow and relaxes muscles.
If conservative options are ineffective, surgical options may be recommended and include:
This is often used to determine the cause of the soreness in your jaw joint. During this procedure, a needle can be used to remove fluid buildup from the joint to relieve symptoms.
This is also referred to as keyhole surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision just in front of your ear and insert a thin tube with a light and a camera to explore the area. Then, surgical instruments can be used to remove scar tissue, reshape bone, or reposition the joint disk.
If keyhole surgery isn’t an option, open-joint surgery may be used. This involves a long incision being made in the jaw to allow direct access.
Schedule Your TMJ Consultation and Treatment at Perfect White Smiles
If you have the signs and symptoms of TMD or if you’ve already been diagnosed, schedule your consultation and treatment at Perfect White Smiles today in Beverly Hills. We offer a variety of treatment options to help you relieve your ear pain and other symptoms.
TMJ Ear Pain FAQs
If you have questions about TMJ disorder, the team at Perfect White Smiles is happy to help. Below are some of the most common questions that we’ve gotten about TMJ and ear pain.
How long does it take for TMJ ear pain to go away?
Typically, ear pain and other TMJ symptoms usually resolve within a few days of treatment. If you are still having issues after conservative treatments, you may want to consider escalating to more serious treatment options.
How do I know if my ear pain is from TMJ?
An ENT specialist will be able to examine you and determine if your ear pain is due to TMJ or an ear infection. If your pain is caused by TMD, the dentists at Perfect White Smiles can help.
Why does my jaw hurt on one side near my ear?
In some cases, jaw pain may be due to TMD. However, it should always be taken seriously because there may be an underlying dental issue, or you may have another condition such as sinusitis or even a heart attack.
How do you fix TMJ on one side?
Ice packs and medications are often used to resolve pain on one side due to TMD. We will work with you to determine the cause of your pain and create a customized treatment plan.