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Though medical doctors know that the trigeminal nerve is directly involved with all ear functions, when confronted with ear dysfunction, they rarely consider jaw malalignment (which has a profound effect on the trigeminal nerve).
The trigeminal nerve effects the ear primarily in three ways:
1. Trigeminal nerve enervates the tensor veli palitini muscle which opens and closes the eustacian tube. Hypertonicity within the trigeminal nerve can lead to dysfunction of the muscle, causing ear infections, plugged ears, or difficulty clearing ears with change in altitude.
2. Trigeminal nerve enervates the tensor tympani muscle within the ear. Dysfunction of this muscle will lead to hyperacousis (avoidance of loud noises) and loss of hearing.
3. Trigeminal nerve influences mucous secretions within the internal and external auditory meatus. This can lead to a higher propensity for mucous build up.
Excess ear wax is a frequent phenomenon with jaw dysfunction