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The Peculiar Connection Between TMJ, Your Ears and Sinuses

It’s not uncommon for patients suffering from TMJ conditions to also complain  of ear problems and sinus pressure. While it may seem strange, there IS a relationship between the ears, sinuses, and TMJ dysfunction.

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Ear Problems & TMJ

During growth and development the structures of the ear, the TM Joint and the jaw muscles originate from similar cells and as a result share nerve pathways that can influence muscle tone and performance. For instance, the muscle that determines the size of the Eustachian tube (influences ear pressure) is directly influenced by the same nerve that serves the jaw muscles and TM Joint. As a result, a TMJ problem can lead to changes in the way the Eustachian tube effects the ear, at times leading to symptoms of ear pressure, fullness, clogging, pain and even ringing (tinnitus).

Sinus Symptoms & TMJ

With regard to sinus symptoms it is common for patients with TMJ disorders to complain of pain and pressure in their sinuses — even though there is no sinus disease, infection, or inflammation going on.

The reason is due to what’s called “mechanisms of referral” — where the site of the symptom is not the origin of the symptom. Jaw muscles in particular can refer pain to the sinus region often making a diagnosis difficult.

Muscles that are tight, inflamed, and fatigued due to overuse and sleep bruxism commonly lead to sinus symptoms. As a result TMJ therapy that reduces muscle problems often leads to the relief of the reported sinus symptoms. Some common treatments include jaw exercises; jaw muscle conditioning, massage, and bite force realignment that relax tense overworked muscles.

[RELATED: 4 Quick Ways to Temporarily Relieve TMJ Discomfort]

TMJ Treatment in Pasadena CA

The bottom line is that if a patient suffers from ear and or sinus symptoms but has no apparent relationship to disease, injury or illness — then there is a good chance that an underlying TMJ problem may be responsible.

If you are one of these people, I urge you to start exploring your options for treatment. Start by researching drug-free options, like TruDenta TMJ treatment offered here at Pasadena Pain Management. We can help you identify the underlying cause of your migraines and get you on the right treatment plan.

Call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

[RELATED: The Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorders]

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.