Ear ringing jaw pain: How is Ringing in the Ear Related to Jaw and Neck Pain?
How is Ringing in the Ear Related to Jaw and Neck Pain?
Studies show that there’s a close relationship between temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). People with TMJ problems are likely to suffer from tinnitus, and people with neck injuries may also suffer from tinnitus. Some people with either TMJ problems or neck problems can alter the intensity of their tinnitus by moving their mouth, jaw, face and neck. Successful treatment of the neck and jaw can improve tinnitus symptoms.
What is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?
The TMJ is a complex joint which allows chewing. There’s a tremendous amount of force that is applied through the TMJ because the muscles that make the jaw clench are some of the most powerful in the body. As a result, the joint is at risk of damage just as much as any other weight-bearing joint in the body. TMJ problems can be due to trauma, dislocation to the fibrous disc in the joint, or due to arthritis.
What are the symptoms of TMJ problems?
Most common symptoms include:
- Jaw clicking
- Grinding and/or clenching of jaw
- Limited movement or locking of jaw
- Swelling of TMJ
- Neck pain
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
How does the TMJ affect tinnitus?
There are three main reason why problems with the TMJ may cause tinnitus, or make it worse.
- The chewing muscles are near to some of the muscles that insert into the middle ear and so may have an effect on hearing, and so may promote tinnitus.
- There is a direct connection between the ligaments that attach to the jaw and one of the hearing bones that sits in the middle ear.
- The nerve supply from the TMJ has been shown to have connections with the parts of the brain that are involved with both hearing and the interpretation of sound.
What can be done about TMJ disorders?
Simple changes such a soft diet, or the use of anti-inflammatory medicines may help for simple cases. For people who grind their teeth or clench their jaw, a bite guard appliance is frequently used; however, research shows that inserting any type of oral appliance will eventually increase activity of the muscles that clench the jaw. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and fix the root cause of clenching and grinding. In exceptional cases surgery may be required to perform surgery on the TMJ. If your tinnitus is related to your TMJ problem, the tinnitus may improve as the TMJ problems get resolved.
How can neck problems be related to tinnitus?
Studies show that patients who suffered head and neck injuries, such as a car accident, or who have neck pain or stiffness for other reasons, such as arthritis, are more likely to experience tinnitus. In addition, nerve endings in the neck make connections in the hearing centers of the brain. Tinnitus is often associated other symptoms such as neck pain, headache, depression, and difficulty with memory and concentration.
Treatment generally depends on the cause of the neck problem, but the results from treating the underlying neck problem are often good. Treatment options can be discussed with a clinician that specializes in Craniofacial and Craniomandibular disorders. Some people are able to change the intensity of their tinnitus by moving their neck.
If you are currently suffering from tinnitus, jaw pain, or neck pain and want help immediately or have any questions, simply email us at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us by visiting www.fpphysicaltherapy.com or calling 610-822-1072.
Tinnitus and TMJ – Tinnitus UK
It is common for people who have TMJ problems or neck injuries to suffer from tinnitus. Here’s why and what can be done to treat this.
Tinnitus and disorders of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and neck
There is a close relationship between certain problems with the jaw joint (temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ) and tinnitus. Scientific studies have shown that people with TMJ problems are more likely to suffer from tinnitus. Similarly, people who have sustained an injury to their neck may also suffer from tinnitus.
Some people with either TMJ problems or neck problems are able to alter the intensity of their tinnitus by moving their mouth, jaw, face and neck. This is called somatosensory tinnitus.
Successful treatment of the underlying problem can also help improve tinnitus symptoms.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is a complex joint as it has to allow for side-to-side and front to back movements that take place during chewing.
The muscles that make the jaw move are some of the most powerful in the body. This means that quite large forces have to act through the TMJ. As a result, the joint is at risk of damage in the same way as any other weight-bearing joint in the body.
TMJ problems can be due to trauma, such as a ‘pulled muscle’ or a dislocation to the fibrous disc that sits in the hinge joint. Other TMJ problems may be due to longer-term problems such as arthritis within the joint. Some people notice that when stressed, they grind their teeth – particularly at night – and this can put pressure on the TMJ.
What are the symptoms of TMJ problems?
The usual symptoms of TMJ problems are:
- pain, which may be felt as earache
- ‘clunking’ of the jaw
- limitation of movement, causing difficulty in opening the mouth.
Other symptoms that may appear are swelling of the joint, headaches, neck pain and tinnitus.
How does the TMJ affect tinnitus?
There are three main theories behind why problems with the TMJ may cause tinnitus, or make it worse.
Firstly, the chewing muscles are near to others that insert into the middle ear. If they are not functioning as they should, this may have an effect on hearing and trigger tinnitus.
Secondly, there can be a direct connection between the ligaments that attach to the jaw and one of the hearing bones that sits in the middle ear. If this ligament becomes overstrained, sprained or inflamed it can impact on tinnitus.
Thirdly, the nerve supply from the TMJ has been shown to have connections with the parts of the brain that are involved with both hearing and the interpretation of sound.
Whatever the cause, the general discomfort associated with TMJ problems can also aggravate any pre-existing tinnitus.
How can TMJ problems be diagnosed?
Your dentist can often diagnose TMJ problems during an examination. If necessary, your dentist will refer you for further tests.
Disorders of the TMJ may be investigated using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans and sometimes by arthroscopy, a small procedure where a tiny camera is inserted into the joint.
What can be done about TMJ problems?
A variety of treatments are available to treat disorders of the TMJ. If your tinnitus is related to your TMJ problem, the tinnitus may improve as the TMJ problems get resolved.
Simple measures that can help TMJ problems include:
– a change to a soft diet
– jaw muscle exercises
– the use of anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers.
In rare cases a specialist dentist, known as an oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgeon, may be needed to perform surgery on the TMJ.
If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you may be advised to use a bite-appliance which corrects the way in which the jaw works. This reduces the stresses and loads on the TMJ. When the TMJ is working normally again, you can stop using the bite-appliance.
Long-term pain and discomfort from conditions in the neck can also aggravate tinnitus in the same way TMJ problems can.
Studies have shown that patients who have suffered an injury to the head and neck region, such as from a car accident, or who have neck pain or stiffness for other reasons, such as arthritis, are more likely to experience tinnitus.
There is some scientific evidence which shows how the nerve endings in the neck make connections in the hearing centres of the brain, explaining how neck problems may affect tinnitus. Quite often the tinnitus associated with neck injuries may be more severe, and can be combined with other symptoms such as headache, depression, and problems with memory and concentration.
Treatment generally depends on the cause, but the results from treating the underlying neck problem are often good. Treatment options can be discussed with your family doctor, who in some cases will recommend simple measures such as the use of painkillers and physiotherapy.
Some people are able to modify their tinnitus by moving their neck. Recently, it has been suggested that TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) can help too.
Help and support
Our Tinnitus Support Team can answer your questions on any tinnitus related topics:
- Telephone: 0800 018 0527
- Web chat: – click on the icon
- Email: [email protected]
- Text/SMS: 07537 416841
We also offer a free tinnitus e-learning programme, Take on Tinnitus.
Updated October 2022
To be reviewed October 2025
Author: John Phillips
Woman’s jaw: by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.
Dentist: by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.
Why does the jaw hurt and tinnitus
Why the jaw hurts and tinnitus can disturb, the residents of Mari El were told by a dentist.
Soreness and discomfort when moving the jaws and speech difficulties are often associated with dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), says the chief freelance dentist of the Ministry of Health of the Republic Alexei Spirin .
This is the most common pathology in dental practice. According to WHO, about 40 percent of the population aged 14 to 65 suffer from various types of TMJ pathology. And studies have shown that 80 percent of patients have this dysfunction.
Its symptoms may come and go suddenly, or the person simply gets used to it. Because of this, pathology is diagnosed in more complex stages and forms.
What causes TMJ dysfunction?
Loss of teeth, lack of orthopedic treatment. After the extraction of teeth, the patient does not have a prosthesis.
Multiple caries and its complications. The patient does not treat his teeth.
Stress, emotional overstrain.
Bruxism (teeth grinding during sleep).
Old fillings and dentures. They need to be changed: fillings – after 2-3 years, removable dentures – after 4-5 years, fixed (bridges, crowns) – after 7-10 years.
Injuries of the maxillofacial region and head.
Pathological abrasion of teeth.
Incorrect bite and lack of orthodontic treatment (braces).
Bad habits (the patient smokes a pipe, bites his nails, bites off threads).
Pathologies also contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, improper work at the computer, the habit of propping up the chin with the hand in a sitting position.
Sound phenomenon – click in the joint during chewing, opening the mouth, yawning. The most obvious and characteristic sign. Sometimes the clicking is so loud that others can hear it. In this case, there may be no pain. There may be crunching, crepitus, popping sounds.
Jamming or locking of the joint – the patient cannot open his mouth as wide as possible. Or, on the contrary, cannot close it.
Pain. It can occur spontaneously in the joint itself, in the ears, temples, nape during or after chewing.
Displacement of the lower jaw when opening the mouth to the sides of the center line.
The variety of clinical manifestations of dysfunction makes diagnosis difficult, so patients can be examined for a long time by a neurologist, otolaryngologist, general practitioner, rheumatologist and other specialists, although they need the joint cooperation of a dentist and a neurologist.
To assess the state of the temporomandibular joint, orthopantomography, ultrasound, radiography, and CT are performed. MRI is indicated for the examination of periarticular soft tissues.
For the period of the main treatment, patients need to reduce the load on the joint (eating soft food, limiting speech load). Depending on the causes and concomitant disorders, a dentist (therapist, orthopedist, orthodontist), chiropractor, vertebrologists, osteopaths, neurologist, psychologist may be involved in the treatment.
To eliminate pain, pharmacotherapy, dosed myogymnastics, and physiotherapy are indicated. Important elements are psychotherapy and biofeedback therapy for functional relaxation of the masticatory muscles.
To recreate the correct closure of teeth – selective grinding, removal of oversized fillings, competent prosthetics or reprosthetics. For bite correction – treatment with braces. In some cases, treatment with fixed devices is preceded by wearing orthopedic splints or caps.
If conservative therapy fails, surgery may be required.
Treatment of TMJ dysfunction can take months and years, after treatment, rehabilitation is needed with a number of restrictions (a ban on solid food, getting rid of bad habits).
Preventive check-ups at the dentist at least twice a year
Correction of bite, timely treatment of teeth, prosthetics.
Do not load the joint. When doing heavy sports, use sports caps. When eating, do not stuff your mouth full.
Avoid stress surges.
The necessary examination and treatment can be started at any time, especially since five city polyclinics were overhauled last year.
Health status by symptoms: clicking in the knees, cracking in the jaw and ringing in the ears
1. Rumbling, rumbling or gurgling in the stomach
Good news: you have a gastrointestinal tract, and it loves cleanliness. In the period between meals, the gastrointestinal tract makes a series of sharp contractions every couple of hours to push out the remnants of food. It is clear that this work may be accompanied by unexpected sounds. Do not believe folklore signs (“grumbles in the stomach – you should eat”). You need to eat when you’re hungry.
Seek medical attention if… grumbling is accompanied by pain and/or bloating. It’s quite a nightmare if you put pressure on your stomach, and a splash comes from there (and you haven’t drunk six liters of beer before). Sometimes the cleaning mechanism can fail: the gastrointestinal tract begins to contract either too often or extremely rarely. Or is it in general – intestinal obstruction, and urgent surgical intervention is required.
2. Quiet whistle from the nose
This happens when the nasal septum is deviated (there is even a term “aerodynamics of the nose” that shocks MAI students). If the partition is in order, but there is a whistle, then most likely you just have a runny nose, and the passage is too narrow for air. Well, blow your nose or apply drops.
Go see a doctor if… the whistling started after an injury. A bruise can lead to perforation of the nasal septum, that is, to a breakdown of the wall separating the nostrils. The surgeon will graft a piece of cartilage (such as from the ear) to close the hole.
3. Clicking and popping in the knees and ankles
Choose according to your taste: this is ligament grazing of bone protrusions, congenital displacement of the patella, insufficient synthesis of intra-articular fluid, “boiling” of lubricant during a sharp joint sprain, etc. and so on.
See a doctor if… your knees hurt during or after movement. If they swell. If you feel limited mobility of the joints. If aesthetic problems (well, who likes all these clicks?) are replaced by physical ones, immediately visit an orthopedic traumatologist. And if the crack appeared after you were sick with something and there was a temperature, also see a rheumatologist.
4. Clicking and crunching in the jaw
If the sound is sharp and loud, then you may have a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the base of the skull. The reason can be anything: from the mistakes of the dentist (an incorrect filling on the chewing tooth broke the symmetry of the jaw) to sports (during which you clench your jaw from tension). If nothing hurts and clicking in the jaws breaks only the silence of family dinners, forget it. Moreover, doctors have not yet learned how to effectively deal with this problem.
See a doctor if… you have trouble opening your mouth. Or if the mouth does not open (even worse – does not close) to the end. If you suffer from pain in the joint, head or even shoulders. We are sorry, but you have a long and painful treatment ahead of you: you will start with exercises for the jaw, and you can finish with joint replacement. In order not to lead to this, take care of your jaw: do not chew gum, do not take food in your mouth that needs to be grinded for a long time or vigorously (bagels, toffees, steaks), do not grit your teeth too much when striving for success.
5. Buzzing, buzzing or ringing in the ears
This is tinnitus – “sounds” that come in and go just as unpredictably. In fact, of course, there are no sounds, it’s just the way the brain interprets the signals coming from your ear system. Maybe you have sulfur plugs, or an allergy is interfering, or it’s a side effect of certain medications. But most often, tinnitus occurs as a result of hearing loss associated with too much noise exposure. So turn down the volume on your headphones, you hear?
Go to the doctor if… the ringing is constant and only on one side – this may be a sign of inflammation of the inner ear. But in most cases, there are no obvious causes for tinnitus, and there is simply nothing to treat it with – that’s all. The doctor will only recommend sleeping pills if your tinnitus is defined as “catastrophic” and does not allow you to sleep.
6. Snoring at night
The sound is produced by the tissues of the mouth and throat, which are too relaxed and not in good shape, and therefore sag, close the airways and vibrate when breathing. Nasal drops and sprays can help, but weight loss is best.