The Connection between TMD and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often referred to as “ringing of the ears,” and can be one of the less common symptoms of TMJ disorders. Many patients suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) with coexisting tinnitus find that TMD therapy often helps to improve or resolve their tinnitus in conjunction with their TMD symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between TMD and tinnitus so you can help provide proper treatment to your patients.

The Relationship

There is a close relationship between certain problems with the TMJ and tinnitus. Some scientific studies even show that people with problems with their TMJ are more likely to suffer from tinnitus, while some individuals who have sustained an injury to their neck may also suffer from tinnitus. If your patient suffers from TMD or neck problems, he or she may find that they can alter the intensity of their tinnitus by moving their mouth, jaw, face and neck.

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The chewing muscles are near some of the muscles that insert into the middle ear. This, in return, may have an effect on hearing, which promotes tinnitus. There is also a direct connection between the ligaments hat attach to the jaw and one of the hearing bones that sits in the middle ear. Through the nerve supply from the TMJ, a connection has been shown with the parts of the brain that are involved with both hearing and the interpretation of sound. The general discomfort associated with TMJ problems can also aggravate any pre-existing tinnitus.

Treatment

By learning more about TMD and how it relates to tinnitus, you can provide your patients with further treatment options. There are a variety of treatment options currently available to help improve TMD symptoms, as well as symptoms of tinnitus. If you would like to learn more about tinnitus and TMD, feel free to contact my office or to attend one of the upcoming fall seminars!

Patients and Neck Pain: How You Can Help

We have all experienced what might seem like a stiff neck because we slept the wrong way or whipped our head around too fast. Or, let’s face it, we might have even done one small movement that normally wouldn’t cause pain, but did—we’ve all been there. Either way, when your patients experience neck pain it can disrupt their daily activities while limiting movements. That neck pain or stiffness they are experiencing can be related to their oral health.

Understanding Neck Pain

When it comes to neck pain, it is important to help your patients find a treatment option. Neck pain can come from many different places, with the most common cause being simple overexertion or muscle strain. Regardless of the source of the neck pain, it is clear that treating it can often be a challenge—especially in cases of chronic discomfort.

Many treatments simply address neck pain without correcting the actual issue that is causing neck pain in the first place. Today, more and more people are beginning to discover the benefits of visiting their dentist about their neck pain. So, when a patient suffers from neck pain, you want to be able to provide them relief within your dental practice—it saves them another trip to the doctor!

The Connection

It is important to understand the underlying connection between neck pain and oral origins. Most people consider neck pain to be limited solely to physical stress. However, the mouth and jaw hold significant clues as to why your patients are experiencing neck pain—it is often linked to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is highly complex and has a wide range of motions.

The TMJ is responsible for coordinating every movement of the mouth, whether speaking or chewing. While it is responsible for an array of movements of the mouth, it can often be prone to improper function, which is TMD. This shifting can disturb the natural and correct pattern in which a patient’s teeth come together, which can cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues.

Due to this inflammation and pain, your patient might be experiencing neck pain. Through your knowledge of TMD and the problems that are associated with the TMJ, you can help your patients find relief from their neck pain. To learn more about TMD, neck pain, and craniofacial pain, I encourage you to attend an upcoming seminar or lecture series—it can make all the difference in helping you diagnose and treat your patients’ pain.

Upcoming Lectures to Get You Ready for Fall

It’s that time again! While your children might be getting ready to go back to school, don’t you think it is time for you to think about continuing your education, too? I think so! As your children get ready for school, make sure you take a look at some of our upcoming lectures for the rest of the year. Here are the lectures from September through the end of the year because you won’t want to miss out!

Pinpoint the Pain

Our Pinpoint the Pain lecture series takes place September 25-26, 2015 and is located in Jupiter, Florida. This two-day seminar gives dentists the opportunity to understand the neuroanatomical relationship within the cranio-cervical area that can complicate the diagnosis of a simple toothache or other orofacial related pain. Pain referral patterns can render misdiagnosis, which can potentially lead to unnecessary or ineffective treatment. In this lecture series, we will discuss pain and how to pinpoint pain.

Advanced Dental Sleep Medicine

In this two-day lecture series in Jupiter, Florida we will take a look at Advanced Dental Sleep Medicine. October 9-10, 2015, join us in this two-day lecture series on the next step in implementing dental sleep medicine. It empowers dentists and their teams to overcome clinical and administrative obstacles to incorporate sleep apnea into their practice.

Other Lectures

In addition to these lectures, check out some more upcoming lectures throughout the year:

October 23-24, 2015

Topic: Sleep Medicine for the Sleep Dentist  & Hygienist’s Role in dental Sleep Medicine

Location: Atlantic City, NJ

November 11-14, 2015

Topic: Sleep Medicine and Dentistry Mini-Residency Class 3

Location: San Diego, CA

December 4-5, 2015

Topic: A Multidisciplinary Pain, TMD and Sleep Symposium 

Location: Atlanta, GA

December 14-15, 2015

Topic: A day in the life: Run your practice like the experts

Location: Atlanta, GA

Explore each of the upcoming lectures to choose which ones would be best for you and your office! I look forward to potentially meeting you and helping you with your journey to improve services offered in your practice!

Dr. Patel is Now Serving on the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain Board

As an experienced craniofacial pain and dental sleep medicine professional, Dr. Mayoor Patel is proud to announce that he has been voted back into serving on the board for the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain by current members. With this recent vote onto the board of the AACP, Dr. Patel will serve for at least another two years.

The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain was created in 1985 by a group of founders who desired to promote clinical skills as well as education in the craniofacial pain field. It is the largest association of dentists and others with an interest in temporomandibular joint disorders, craniofacial pain, and dental sleep medicine.

By being voted back onto the board for the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Dr. Patel looks forward to continuing to work with other members in educating the craniofacial pain community, while also continuing to expand on his experience and knowledge. This helps the community to not only properly treat patients, but to also help other dental practices in their craniofacial pain journey.

In addition to serving on the board, Dr. Patel also serves on the AACP website and publication committee, as well as the ethic committee. By participating independently on these committees, Dr. Patel works to further improve the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain’s awareness and reach with dentists and their communities.

Dr. Mayoor Patel is on the Examination Chair for the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine. He sits on both of these boards, as well as the local Georgia Association of Sleep Professional Boards, which helps him to continue to help other dentists in his community and surrounding areas.

For more information on the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP) please visit https://www.aacfp.org. As a member of the board of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Dr. Patel looks forward to working with his colleagues while also helping the craniofacial pain community.