"About 1 in 3 people in Australia suffer from tinnitus at some point in their life. About 1 in 6 have constant tinnitus symptoms."
Tinnitus is a physical condition. It is experienced as ringing in the ears, or noise inside the head, when no such external noise is present. It is not a disease but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes.
Did you know the monotonous noise of tinnitus may be an offset of TMD? Although the tinnitus must be treated, the underlying cause should be investigated as part of a comprehensive oral health assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many individuals aren’t aware that tinnitus isn’t a condition of its own; it’s a symptom of an underlying medical condition. People suffering with temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD), jaw joint pain, jaw joint clicking, as well as those who grind at night (brux) may present with tinnitus.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of ringing or another noise in the ears when there is actually no physical sound present. This sensation may present itself as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing white noise, clicking or humming in the ears. Although it can worsen with time, Tinnitus isn’t a sign of a serious health issue.
What causes Tinnitus?
These phantom noises in your ear canal may be caused by a number of health conditions, including:
- Damage to the inner ear hair cells – these move in relation to the pressure of sound waves and they can leak random electrical impulses to your brain when they are bent or broken
- Age-related hearing loss
- Short and long-term exposure to loud noises such as heavy equipment, loud concerts, mp3 players, etc.
- Earwax blockages – this can irritate the eardrum
- Bruxism – teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- TMJ disorders – problems with the temporomandibular joint can cause tinnitus
How do we treat TMD related Tinnitus?
The Dental Boutique offers effective treatment solutions for Tinnitus, however it’s essential an assessment is made prior to commencement of any other dental treatment.
Once we’ve established the root cause of your Tinnitus, The Dental Boutique will recommend one of our high-quality treatment options. Effective treatment is available through neuromuscular dentistry where we work to relax the jaw joint and restore its natural alignment.
If your Tinnitus is related to an ongoing sleep disorder, such as bruxism or sleep apnoea, our practitioners will create a specialised oral appliance that prevents your jaws from grinding throughout the night. If your jaw pain is extreme and our treatments don’t alleviate the problem, the absolute last resort is surgery.
As a specialist area of dentistry, only a minority of dentists is trained to diagnose and treat jaw joint dysfunction. We’re proud to say The Dental Boutique is home to one of Australia’s leading dentists in this specialty area, Dr Leanne Malisano.