Bio Contact Us

TMJ syndrome (temporal mandibular joint syndrome)

Definition: ear pain from an inflamed jaw joint.  The ear exam is normal.

Symptoms/possible causes: TMJ is due to stress (grinding or clenching of the teeth) or dental problems causing the patient to chew on one side of the mouth not both sides, which is normal. Sharp and shooting pain in the ear and down into the neck are symptoms, without any hearing loss or ringing.  But TMJ causes fullness and pressure in the ear.

Possible course of treatment: after a careful history and ear exam that is found to be normal, treatment consists of chewing equally on both sides; using a heating pad for 30 minutes twice a day, on the ear that hurts; 2 Advil tablets every 6 - 8 hours; using an over the counter soft night guard; and doing jaw exercises that prevent the ear pain from returning.

©2009 Dr. Mark Altenau. Site design: MDVC Creative