Have you started noticing frequent ringing in your ears? Do you experience constant earaches? Do you try pain relievers and home remedies, but the aches never go away? You may be exhibiting symptoms of a more serious issue. Earaches and ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, are common signs of TMJ disorder. Your Houston cosmetic dentist, Dr. Deborah Gennero, explains TMJ disorder and treatment options in today’s blog.

What is TMD?

TMJ disorder, also referred to as TMD, affects the temporomandibular joints. These joints are responsible for all movement of the jaw, such as chewing or talking. When patients develop TMD, they usually experience several common symptoms, including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Popping or clicking sound in the jaw
  • Neck pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Earaches

What Causes TMJ Earaches?

TMD is a result of strain placed on the jaw joints. Overworked jaw muscles soon start to ache, causing pains in the face, head, neck, and of course, the ears. Several factors can lead to the onset of TMJ disorder, the most common include:

  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding
  • Hereditary
  • Malocclusion, or a misaligned jaw
  • Trauma to the jaw or face
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

What Treatment is Available for TMD?

Teeth grinding is the most frequent cause of TMJ disorder. An increase in stress and anxiety often leads to patients grinding their teeth in their sleep. Reducing stress is a key to stopping bruxism. If a patient begins to display symptoms of TMD, he/she should avoid chewing gum or eating hard foods; the repetitive motions will strain the already overworked jaw muscles.

Dr. Gennero provides relief for patients suffering from TMD. With training from the renowned Pankey Institute, Dr. Gennero is qualified to assess and prescribe a variety of treatment for TMJ disorder. We use several methods of treatment for TMD, such as:

  • Relaxation techniques: Exercise techniques to ease tension of jaw muscles.
  • Muscle stretching: Exercises to strengthen jaw muscles and reduce strain.
  • Custom-made mouth guards: Worn at night, mouth guards prevent upper and lower teeth from touching and stop teeth grinding.
  • NTI-tss therapy: similar to mouth guards, a dental device to prevent teeth grinding and stop TMD symptoms.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Houston Dentist

Experiencing TMD-related earaches? Call Dr. Gennero today for a consultation by contacting our Houston dentist office at (281)578-6200. We are proud to offer comprehensive dentistry to patients from Clear Lake to The Woodlands, including Katy, West Houston, Sugarland, the 77084 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.