Is TMJ related to Tinnitus?

Is TMJ related to Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is common with prevalence rates of 10-20%. A subtype of subjective tinnitus is called somatosensory tinnitus. This is when the somatosensory systems, usually the neck and/or jaw, is one of the major influencing factors of modulating the perception of sound.

The sounds can be described anywhere from hissing, sizzling, to actual ringing. When there is a relationship between the jaw and tinnitus, patients normally notice a correlation with oral parafunctions (e.g., bruxism, excessive gum chewing, lip or fingernail biting), chewing, yawning or jaw movements.

Medically, we don’t just talk about the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in itself when dealing with pain disorders of the jaw. TMJ is lumped under a larger term, called temporomandibular disorders (TMD), which compromises not just the joint but also the muscles of mastication.

In fact,  there is a large correlation between TMD and tinnitus. Prevalence studies show that tinnitus occurs in 30% to 64% of patients with TMD, suggests that TMD and tinnitus are highly intertwined.  Additionally, a recent study just showed a strong link indicating that TMJ problems largely contribute to tinnitus severity (Edvall et al 2020).

The association between tinnitus and TMJ disorders was confirmed by two recent systematic reviews that reported a significant association between the two conditions in the majority of the identified studies (Bousema et al., 2018Mottaghi et al., 2019). More often than not, if you are having tinnitus with some form of somatosensory subtype, you will usually have TMD dysfunction or pain.

I have attached my movement assessment for you to try on your own to see where you FEEL movements of the jaw and determine if it correct or not. This is one of the first steps in determining if your TMJ is related to your tinnitus.

If you are having TMJ and tinnitus, feel free to reach out to see how we can help you with either 1:1 virtual or in-person care, advice and exercise prescription to do at home.

Or, you can also check out our acclaimed 14-day Tinnitus Relief Program that focuses on 5 upper quarter exercises and stretches that can help your neck and shoulders move easier!

Get relief with our 14 day plan!

Includes specific exercises and plan to help you!

Call us: 919-728-0335