Ear pain, Ear stuffiness and Tinnitus

Ear complaints are very common in TMJ disorders. However changes in hearing should be evaluated initially by a family physician or ENT. The bone which separates the TMJ from the ear is very thin therefore inflammation in the TMJ can often be felt as pain or pressure into the ear.   

There is also contiguous soft tissue from the TMJ running into the ear through the petrotympanic fissure therefore TMJ dysfunction can have an effect on hearing in some people.

Additionally, the Tensor Tympani muscle attaches to the malleus bone within the ear. This muscle is innervated by the trigeminal nerve and functions with activation of the jaw muscles. The purpose of it is to dampen the tooth sounds heard during chewing.

Diagram – Ear structure
Diagram – The inner ear