Do You Suffer from Jaw Pain Near the Ear?

Jaw pain on either the left side or right side of the face near the ear is often a sign of an underlying issue with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These conditions can make opening and closing the jaw stiff and painful, and can also result in clicking or grating sounds during movement. 

At TMJ Clinics, we have extensive experience providing treatment for jaw pain linked to TMJ disorders. With an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to treating TMJ disorders, we provide each patient with the support they need to achieve their optimal health outcomes. 

Why is jaw pain near the ear correlated with TMJ disorder?

Medical literature suggests that up to a third of ear pain, ear blockage and ringing in the ears in the absence of detectable ear pathology is from TMJ disorder. This is because the ear and the TMJ are adjacent to each other, sharing a wall as well as sensory nerves. As such, TMJ disorder can also be associated with tinnitus – a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear that is not caused by an external source. Ear symptoms are particularly more prominent in patients with TMJ popping/clicking and night time clenching or grinding. TMJ clicking or popping is a common sign of the articular disc being in the less ideal position to cope with increased force to the jaw joints. The increased load to the TMJs from night time clenching or grinding cause small joint effusion to cause ear symptoms.

A tinnitus/TMJ splint in these patients can help reduce the symptoms by lessening the load to the jaw joints at nighttime. These splits work by increasing the surface contact area between the top and bottom teeth as well as limiting the potential grinding motion that may be occurring. The splint will also reduce the risk of damage to the teeth and the jaw joints.

Discuss your jaw pain with us

If you’re suffering from jaw pain near the left side or right side ear, start a conversation with us. TMJ Clinics offers access to dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and other allied health professionals at two state-of-the-art clinics in Canberra and Sydney. Contact reception to arrange an appointment.