05 Aug Is TMJ Causing Your Ear Pain and Sinus Symptoms?
If you are experiencing pain in the ear and sinuses, you will likely get a referral to an ENT specialist from your physician. This specialist examines ear, nose, and throat conditions, so you may assume that the source of your discomfort is an ear or sinus infection. However, the cause may be Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ for short.
Referred Pain from the TM Joint
When pain occurs somewhere other than where the problem exists, it is known as referred pain. One such example is the TMJ ear pain and TMJ sinus symptoms that we described above. The cause of the ENT problems is not in the same place where you feel the discomfort but instead stems from the TM jaw joint.
So, when you go to the ENT doctor, the reason for the discomfort won’t be apparent at first. In this case, you may get a further referral to a dental professional to determine if it is TMJ causing the ear pain and sinus symptoms.
ENT Problems as Symptoms of TMJ: Why This Happens
By now you are likely wondering why TMJ disorders can trigger ear or sinus problems problems. The reason is the shared nerve pathways between the ear, nose, Temporomandibular Joint, and jaw muscles. These common passageways all affect both muscle tone and muscle performance.
For instance, the nerve that oversees the TM joint and jaw muscles is also the determiner of the size of the Eustachian tube, which extends from the pharynx to the ear. The intertwined relationship means that ringing in the ears (tinnitus), pressure on the eardrum, or a “stuffed” feeling in the nose are three symptoms that can occur in people who have TMJ disorder.
Another example is the sore jaw that can result when a person unintentionally clenches his or her teeth while sleeping. This particular condition called bruxism can bring about sinus symptoms.
Getting Help for TMJ Ear Pain & TMJ Sinus Symptoms
Thankfully, you do not have to suffer from unexplained ear problems and sinus symptoms. Your ENT problem may be due to TMJ dysfunction.