You may be plagued by the presence of earaches in your life. They might even seem to be related to chronic headaches or migraines, if you are also experiencing those. These particular earaches don’t respond to antibiotics and continually reappear. The fact is these types of earaches aren’t related to issues within the ear itself. They are often the result of underlying problems within the oral system. More plainly stated, chronic earaches and chronic headaches are both common problems for individuals with teeth or jaw related issues. Here at Fort Collins Headache Center we are fully aware of this intricate connection between the mouth, ears and jaw.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull. It allows for the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body and has one of the highest activity rates. The TMJ is an engineering marvel but it is prone to dysfunction. It joins the jaw to the skull less than an inch from the inner ear, and when the joint hurts the ear often hurts too. The pain can feel like a simple earache, but it’s not. No amount of antibiotics will ease the discomfort, which can also radiate throughout the head as headaches and migraines and other issues. These complaints are collectively known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Dysfunction of the TMJ is commonly related to the teeth, specifically an imbalanced bite or grinding of the teeth. When the top and bottom teeth aren’t properly aligned (malocclusion) biting and chewing can create a powerful force that radiates through the jaw and breaks down the TMJ. Teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching the jaws can cause teeth to wear and break. This creates or worsens a malocclusion, which worsens the damage to the TMJ. TMD is the eventual outcome, which will lead to chronic headaches and migraines, jaw pain, neck pain and sleep apnea in addition to the ear problems.
Another chronic ear issue associated with TMD is tinnitus, a condition marked by constant ringing in the ears. The pain signals carried by the nerves in the jaw can transfer to the auditory nerves around them and lead to a non-stop buzzing that can be extremely difficult to live with. Hearing a loud, distinct clicking and popping of the joint around the ear region is also a common symptom. It’s no surprise that these conditions can interfere with hearing.
Don’t let debilitating ear problems stop you from living your best life. Contact Fort Collins Headache Center about treatment with TruDenta, a revolutionary, FDA approved system that can target the cause of your ear problems and correct them. After a short 20-minute exam we can tell you whether you’re a candidate for our program. If you are, we will create a personalized treatment plan for you that will have you pain free in 12 or fewer weekly visits.
We also diagnose and treat patients with chronic headaches and migraines, TMJ disorder, jaw pain, neck pain, sleep apnea, and all of the symptoms associated with these issues. To get started, book an examination with us at 970-672-8517, or use the online contact form here on the website. We can provide you with care and treatment to rid you of the pain and help you reach a higher quality of life.