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Old 05-04-2004, 08:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chillicothe, MO, USA
Posts: 352
dizzyinmissouri HB User
Question Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

I have been struggling with dizziness, imbalance since July of last year. The dizziness came after a period of my noticing that my "bite" wasn't right. Also, I was having the typical TMJ headaches that I thought were sinus. Since the bout of vertigo the imbalance has caused my neck muscles to become very messed up and I know the TMJ was very much aggravated.
Now I feel like the dizziness and motion problems I am having is coming from the TMJ. There is so much pressure and discomfort around the jaw area. It feels like something is pressing on the bone right in front of my ears. I know the inner ear and jaw muscle are very close to each other. Also, when the tightness in my jaw area is occurring my ears become VERY sensitive to noises. Every noise just goes thru my head.
Does this sound like what you all experience with your TMJ? Anyone with noise sensitivity and just a feeling of motion especially when you lay down in bed at night?
Would love your input!

Old 05-04-2004, 12:12 PM   #2
Al4 Al4 is offline
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Al4 HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

Have you had an ENT or neorotologist rule out inner ear problems? Did they do hearing and balance tests? If all those were negative, then the ear problems may be related to TMJ. It is difficult to say if one only has TMJ, or both TMJ and inner ear problems. They can both cause vertigo. tinnitus and hyperacusis. Do you have tinnitus? There are people who have both inner ear problems and TMJ. There are even a few studies that suggest that jaw/neck problems can cause inner ear problems, and that treating the jaw/neck with appropriate muscle stretching, massage, chiro and splint therapy for several months can improve the symptoms. I have had no such luck, but then the TMJ dentists I have seen so far were very incompetent ...

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Old 05-04-2004, 12:59 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chillicothe, MO, USA
Posts: 352
dizzyinmissouri HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

I believe I have both inner ear problems and TMJ. I have been to the Balance Center in Chicago and have had the testing done on my ears and there is problems with my right ear. I think I was developing TMJ and as the dizziness came on it greatly aggravated and brought on the TMJ with a vengeance. I know that with healing from inner ear it is very important to be able to move the neck naturally and that is something that is nearly impossible. I really think at this point I need work on the TMJ area. It doesn't appear with what I have read it is that easy to find a competent doctor for TMJ. Same way with inner ear!
Have you ever heard anything about the TMJ clinic in Denver? I looked at their website and am very curious about it.
Anyway, thanks for the input!

Old 05-05-2004, 06:47 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 9
skowjams HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

Hi Vicki. When I went to see my TMJ dentist last year for the first time, I told him that I'd recently moved to Indiana from Blue Springs, Missouri. He told me that one of the best TMJ dentists has an office in Blue Springs (which is a suburb of Kansas City.)My dentist is very good, and his TMJ specialist is very kind and understanding. They have tremendously helped me, and even refered me to a chiropractor who does cranial adjustments. Both treatments combined have almost eliminated my headaches. So, if you would like to know the name of this dentist in MO I'd be glad to find out who he is for you.

Old 05-05-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
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Location: West Virginia
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Neura75 HB User
Smile Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

I have had some similar symptoms to yours. After seeing a maxillo-facial surgeon, he ruled out structural problems with my TMJ joint. The diagnosis was myofascial pain dysfunction, meaning a dysfunction of the connective tissue and muscle. I think your dizziness and imbalance is at least partially due to problems with your neck muscles, as you suspected. There is a muscle group called the sternocleidomastoid complex that starts behind your ear and then connects to both your collar bone and sternum. Problems with this muscle can cause dizziness, imbalance, sinus pressure in your checks, referred pain behind the eye and in the ear. If you are able to rule out problems with your inner ear itself, I would maybe check into a certified massage therapist who can work on your neck (someone who does myofascial release or trigger point therapy). [ removed ]Good luck!

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Old 05-05-2004, 10:19 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chillicothe, MO, USA
Posts: 352
dizzyinmissouri HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

Thanks for your information. Yes, I would like to know the TMJ doctor in Blue Springs. My husband also suffers with TMJ, he is a terrible teeth clencher, and has problems with ongoing light dizziness, etc.
I had a PT here in my hometown that was beginning to do some kind of treatment where she used her fingertips and worked all around the area in front of my ear claiming that she could work out the infection or inflammation. Is that what you are referring to? I was uncomfortable with it, cause she was using a big book with a picture of the inner ear area and said she was going to work her way back to the inner ear where she felt that the problem was. The PT in Chicago at the Balance Center told me he didn't think she had a clue, but maybe just two different approaches.
I don't know... but I sure appreciate the info!

Old 05-09-2004, 03:37 AM   #7
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papergoods HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

I have all these sypmtoms and I am finding it hard to find a doctor who believes or will know who to write a convincing letter describing why the combination of ALL of these VERY negative symptoms are very disabling. Especially those periods of dizziness and brain fog where your ear goes whako. A lot has to do with the trigeminal nerve...

There is medical lit. that illustrates the negative effect of jaw dysfunction on cervical musculature. One study at University of California, San Francisco, showed that anesthetizing the temporomandibular joint caused head and neck pain in various locations to resolve, even on the other side of the body.

The neurology of the trigeminal nerve will likewise explain the close causal connection between jaw alignment and neck pain. The trigeminal nerve is extensively integrated with cervical nerves, both motor and sensory components. Pain fibers from C1-C3 mix with trigeminal nerve pain fibers in the brain stem, causing pain in one to effect the other. Typically, in TMJ Dysfunction the upper cervical is unstable leading to chronic neck pain. Biomechanically, as the mandible retrudes (typical primary pathology in TMJ Syndrome), the head comes forward causing an increase load on the neck musculature.

The trigeminal nerve has also been shown to have the ability to modulate all spinal sensory input into the brain. Hence, it can make one feel pain when there is only slight dysfunction. Through its ability to affect Substance P (neurotransmitter for pain) levels in the body, the trigeminal nerve can hypersensitive pain fibers within the neck and elsewhere.

As for the EARS thats even MORE complicated (believe it or not)
The trigeminal nerve affects the ear primarily in three ways:
1. Trigeminal nerve enervates the tensor veli palitini muscle which opens and closes the Eustachian 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. Two studies of which I am aware demonstrate that jaw alignment therapy was approximately 85% effective at stopping otitis media (middle ear infection). Excess ear wax is a frequent with jaw dysfunction.

Old 05-11-2004, 10:35 AM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 9
skowjams HB User
Re: Neck tightness, fullness in ear area, ears very sensitive to noise?

Hi. I found out today the name of the TMJ specialist I promised to find out about for you, Dizzy. He is actually in Shawnee Mission, KS (about 30 minutes from Blue Springs, MO). His name is Jack Haden, and his phone number is (913) 722-6022. Please let me know if this is of help to you.

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