Facial Pain, Eye Pain, Ear Pain
These pains are common expressions of stress and strain from head, neck, and jaw muscles and tendons. At the back of the skull, muscle tension or muscle trigger points (spasms) can create neck aches, pain on the back side of the head and even pain behind your eyes.
This muscle tension can also cause pain in your jawline, side of the face and forehead. Most muscle strain creates what is called a referred pain that expresses itself far from the actual problem area. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD), muscle pain and/or ligament pain all wrapped up together could be the cause of your ear pain, eye pain, forehead pain, jaw pain and facial pain.
What is causing my facial pain?
Some healthcare professionals understand that when you experience pain in your face, it can be a referred pain whose origin is elsewhere. Living with TMJD may bring on numerous chronic or long term symptoms and problems. But often, the signs or symptoms are not as straightforward and can be confusing. Often patients in our dental office are struggling to make sense of why they are in pain and what causes it.
If it is a TMJD problem, it may be more difficult to make that connection. Living with pain in your face can be the result of a dental malocclusion or imbalanced jaw function commonly referred to as a TMJ Disorder (TMD).
Your neck, head, and face have nerves, muscles, tendons and joints that all communicate with one another. If a nerve in your neck is pinched or aggravated, the pain can be referred far away and cause pain in your face. Your head, neck, face, shoulders and back can all be affected by TMJD. Finding the cause of you pain is very important to treating TMJD.
Relief for TMJ facial pain
You have 2 healthcare choices:
- Moderate the pain with medication OR
- Treat the underlying cause of the pain.
In other words, treat a symptom of the problem or treat the actual problem. The imbalance of your “bad bite” – in which your upper and lower teeth do not come together in balanced alignment – can contribute to the pain of the jaw and the surrounding muscles. This imbalance may cause facial pain or pain behind the eyes. You may also experience headaches, migraines, ringing in the ears, dizziness, numbness of the fingertips, and many other symptoms.
Dentists that treat TMJD like Dr. Curtis Westersund uses a physiologic approach as a treatment for facial pain.
TMJD hearing loss
How does my jaw cause TMJD ear pain, hearing loss, and ringing?
Why do your ears seem to be giving you so much trouble, yet your doctor can’t diagnose the problem?
You explain your symptoms, your doctor shines a light, takes a look around and says nothing is wrong. Still, you know that ringing sound is real and you may occasionally be hit with waves of dizziness so strong you are forced to hold on to something to stay upright.
Ringing in the ears and TMJD
Hearing loss, ear congestion, persistent earaches, dizziness, vertigo, ringing or whistling in the ears – these can all be traced back to a dental malocclusion or lower jaw misalignment commonly included in the term ‘TMD’.
- Technically (and medically) here’s what is going on:
- You have 2 jaw joints called the TemporoMandibular Joints or TMJs. The jaw joints are directly in front of your ears. Where your teeth mesh or bite together determines where the head of the lower jaw joint (TMJ condyle) sits within its fossa (the hollow in the joint in the skull).
- If where the teeth meet causes the head of the jaw joint to be shoved back into it’s fossa, then several things cab happen. First the tissue around the joint becomes compressed and possibly inflamed. The structures associated with the jaw joint are not able to withstand long term compression and over time becomes damaged. Second, muscles and tendons in the joint are stretched or compromised and they respond with referred pain symptoms.
Your ear has two important muscles: the tensor tympani (this attaches to a bone close to the ear drum and stabilizes it from excess vibration caused by loud sounds) and the tensor levi palatini (this attach to the Eustachian tube helping to equalizing pressure within the inner ear…it is what “unplugs” your ears when you chew gum or suck a hard candy in an airplane).
Jaw misalignment and occlusal imbalance can lead to strained muscles and structures affecting the function of the ear which may lead to a multitude of symptoms related to your ears.
The jaw area is a complex network of muscles and nerves. When the bite is misaligned – muscles and nerves throughout the head, including the ears, can be affected.
Ear ringing treatment
There are many many reasons for ringing in the ears that are NOT related to your TMJ joint. But problems with the TMJ function can be a fairly common cause of ringing ears.
When your bite is stabilized to a balanced bite that decompresses the TMJ (opens your bite so your TMJ no longer moves back and up causing compression), there is less tension on the jaw joint. By stabilizing and realigning your jaw, the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your TMJ may be decompromised. Restoring your bite to as close as possible to its optimal position, can reduce or eliminate the problems within your ears caused by the misaligned bite.
Facial, Eye, and Ear Pain Calgary: Mind and Body Connection
Are you experiencing some of these problems … or worse, all of them? We encourage you to talk to TMJ pain and ear pain Calgary dentist, Dr. Westersund about treatment options. Learn how relieving facial pain and jaw pain can improve your well being. Preventing serious issues caused by TMJD early is important for your health. Schedule a consultation or call us at 403 262-9898 today.