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Mission Bend Family Dentistry

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What Is The Relationship Between TMJ and Ear Pain?

Ear pain discomfort is extremely tough to deal with. It is not one of those things you can easily ignore. The pain can be on one side or both. A common cause of ear pain is TMJ disorder. TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, commonly known as the joint where skull and jaw bone meet. This joint links the bone of your skull i.e. temporal bone to the lower jaw, namely mandible.

The movement of mouth, its opening, and closing, backward or sideways, is possible only because of this joint. Read on to know why the ear is affected by TMJ disorder, the reason for pain and what should be done for relief.

Relationship Between The Ear and Your Jaw

Our ears, just like the face, are in muscle’s control. The temporal bone joins the lower jaw, i.e., TMJ, which is near the ear. Since the two reside adjacent to each other, any factor that affects either of them shows its effect on the other.

TMJ is located near the auditory canal; inflammation in the joint can cause ear pain. Moreover, since the two are indirectly linked, any hit or impact to the jaw will adversely affect the ear. Any malfunctioning around the TMJ muscles can put excessive pressure on the ears and nerve, leading to pain.

Symptoms of TMJ Ear Pain

  • Ringing of ears, also known as tinnitus.
  • Shooting pain in the ears.
  • Ear popping
  • Pain in the ears when chewing or speaking.
  • Constant low intensity ache in ears.

Other symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Other painful symptoms that indicate the presence of TMJ disorder are.

Frequent Migraines/Headache

Waking up with a headache is an indicator of something wrong. If this happens more than twice a week, you must contact your dentist and schedule a checkup.

Popping Sounds

The jaw movement while opening and closing the mouth should be effortless, without pain or any other kind of resistance. So, if you hear any popping or clicking sound, it is the disc in the TMJ moving.

Cracked Teeth

It is important for our jaws, teeth, and adjoined muscles to work in sync. A misaligned pressurized bite can lead to a chipped or broken tooth.


Also known as teeth grinding, it is one of the complications and ear pain that people with TMJ disorders face. Bruxism is useless teeth clenching or grinding. Mostly, the people who have this issue grind their teeth while sleeping. During the night, our defense mechanism is at the lowest; teeth grinding during this time is worse comparatively.

Jaw Neck Shoulder Pain

The pain originates from the jaw region and radiates around back and neck area. The pain due to TMJ can travel to the sinuses and put pressure on the eyes and ear, causing discomfort and pain.


The easiest way to get rid of your ear pain is to eliminate the root cause, TMJ. The dentist will be able to diagnose and treat your problem accurately. Meanwhile, here are a few things to try for pain relief.

  • Relaxation exercises
  • Eat soft foods only
  • Do not chew gum
  • Try not to tense your jaw
  • Putting an ice pack in the affected area or a heating pad can also suffice.
  • Painkillers
  • Massage
  • Mouthguard at night
  • Reduce stress


It is best to keep your dental health in check. Regular visits to the dentist can help diagnose, treat or manage oral health conditions without getting worse. If you are confused and looking for assistance, please reach out to us; Mission Bend Family Dentistry is here for you. Call now for scheduling an appointment or more 832-895-5110

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