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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

For those with ear pain

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Old 11-15-2002, 05:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 88
Lori3 HB User
Question For those with ear pain

I know I've asked this before but I'm still not convinced my TMJ is causing my ear pain. For those with ear pain please describe yours to me. What's it feel like, does it come and go, does it hurt to touch any particular part of your ear? Thanks!

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Old 11-15-2002, 06:10 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 8
Mitch65 HB User

Feels full, almost like a liquid is trapped in it. I have ZERO pain to the touch. It comes and goes and in my situation the biggest annoyance of all symptoms.

Old 11-15-2002, 07:39 AM   #3
Cymy Sue
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,021
Cymy Sue HB User

Earache, like ear infection.
Sharp pains.
Feels like there's fluid or water in them.
Stopped up.
Sometimes if muscle spasms are bad, it feels like they are being pulled, up in my case.
Most everybody I know, had all kinds of ear pain or problems before they knew they had TMJS. Including me.
Cymy Sue

Old 11-16-2002, 10:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Al4 HB User

Like Mitch and Cumy Sue I mostly feel pressure in my ears. Sometimes like fluid trapped in. When I have the ear pressure, my ringing in the right ear also goes through the roof.

Last edited by Al4; 05-31-2004 at 03:09 PM.

Old 11-16-2002, 10:33 AM   #5
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Location: Sheffield, UK
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nhoare HB User

I keep going to my Doctor thinking I have an ear infection but after examination they are clear.
I did have an ear infection a few years ago and it felt the same.


Old 11-16-2002, 02:02 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 377
Marlene HB UserMarlene HB UserMarlene HB UserMarlene HB User

Hi Lori3,

Have you been to ENT doctors, had all the gambit of testing done to rule out any ear problems? If so, then chances are that your ear symptoms ARE being caused by TMJ. My ear symptoms were: pressure sensation in the ears, full feeling in the ears, sometimes a sharp pain in the ears, itching in the ears. The pressure sensation was so bad that I would often say I felt like shoving a knitting needle in my ears just to relieve the pressure! I had every test possible done and ALL ruled out anything wrong with the ears themselves. With successful splint therapy, the ear problems, etc. are all gone.


Old 11-16-2002, 02:08 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Buffalo, N.Y. USA
Posts: 82
paintitbetter HB User


All my TMJD symptoms are ear symptoms. Tinnitus, ear fullness, and crackling sounds with any slight head movement. I've had the tinnitus all my life, but when the fullness came along, the tinnitus has gone haywire.

The good news is after 14 months wearing my splint 24/7 all ear symptoms have improved. The flare ups constantly come and go, with no rhyme or reason. But when I think about how I felt last year at this time, I am better now.

So hang in there. I know how easy it is to loose faith in your treatment. I use to ask myself how is wearing a stupid piece of plastic in my mouth going to help these terrible ear problems. But it has.

Be patient and preserver, better days will be here!

Old 11-17-2002, 10:32 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: WA, USA
Posts: 897
trowftd3 HB User

My ear symptoms are:
intense itching
pain-like someone's trying to shove an ice pick in my ear
crunchy/clicking noises when I talk
feeling like there's water or something floating around in there

I didn't attribute the itching and the floating feeling to my tmj until I started lurking around hear and reading everyone else's symptoms. I once lost the hearing in my right ear for a month and went to the doctor. She irrigated my ear(for $165) and assured me that I could hear now that it was cleaned out. It didn't do anything and about a week later it finally cleared up.

It's so sad that we have to spend so much money 'ruling out' the other causes for our symptoms. My mom spent her whole life seeing doctors and dentists for sinus pain, migraines and tooth pain before being diagnosed at age 64.

Thank God for this board and thank all of you for letting me know I'm not alone!--Michelle
undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

Old 11-18-2002, 12:00 AM   #9
lori j
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,216
lori j HB User

My symptoms:
Pain in ear like ear infection
Pain down my neck to glands on outside of neck
Pain in back of roof of my mouth like a sore throat, but different
Crackling noise upon swallowing
Ringing in ears constantly

All tests of ear & eustacion tubes were always negative, plus hearing tests. Plus cat scan, negative.

Old 11-18-2002, 12:02 AM   #10
lori j
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lori j HB User

oops, one more to your question, mine didn't come & go, i had it for over a year & a half, many tests, many doctors, many anti-biotics!

Old 01-10-2003, 03:49 AM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Upland, California
Posts: 371
thisstarr HB User


Does anyone know what brings on the ear pain from tmj. I have suffered from tmj for 6 years (without treatment) and have always have headaches, face pain, jaw pain, but I never had a problem with my ears.

Now my ears feel full, I have throbbing pain, and ringing/itching in both ears. I also have this sharp pain behind my left year that shoots down my neck. I never had problems with my ears and now all of a sudden I do, Is this from lack or treatment? It seem I have a new symptom every week...



Old 01-10-2003, 04:10 PM   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 506
crystalll HB User

I've posted all or part of this once before, but I'll post it again.

"It's often difficult to understand how such symptoms as ringing or buzzing in the ears, earaches, altered hearing, or even vertigo can be connected to a muscle-spasm problem originating with the teeth. The connection is a small muscle called the tensor veli palatini.

The Tensor veli palatini has a number of functions, including involvement in the closing of the eustachian tubes. This tube connects the throat to the middle ear and keeps the air pressure in the middle ear the same as that of the outside atmosphere. Normally this happens without our knowing it, but in certain cases...this change is noticeable.

The Tensor veli palatini is supplied with nerve signals from a branch of the same nerve that supplies the external pterygoid muscle. When the Lateral pterygoids are in spasm, the Tensor veli palatini also can go into spasm because the nerve stimuli go to both muscles.

When this tiny muscle goes into spasm, it closes off the eustachian tube and produces symptoms that mimic middle-ear problems. A patient may see a physician about changes in hearing, earaches, buzzing, ringing, or dizziness. The patient may have no signs of infection or a cold, and when the problem is not resolved...allergies are often suspected."

I hope this helps. I've been suffering from the ear symptoms for years now, and unfortunately I can't give you any advice other than to seek out a dentist who specializes in TMJ disorders.


Old 01-10-2003, 09:10 PM   #13
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Location: australia
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angel444 HB User

Does any one get the feeling like they are swallowing over a lump
it is so terrible and feels like you are swallowing over a soft gluggy tissue
also the pressure in your ears tighten your throat and makes it hard to talk
helen hutton

Old 01-11-2003, 12:47 PM   #14
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Upland, California
Posts: 371
thisstarr HB User

Hi Crystall,

Thanks so much for the reply I appreciate it very much! Tmj really affects your hole body it is so unfair.

Angel: I get that sometime I didnt think to think it was from my tmj, I will have to add it to my list! Sometimes it feel hard to breathe becasue my throat feels so tight, and I get dry mouth a lot.

Take care,

[This message has been edited by thisstarr (edited 01-11-2003).]

Old 01-13-2003, 10:00 AM   #15
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 972
Merrida HB User

Aaarghh, this is frustrating!

After reading your posts, it makes me so angry as well as frustrated! For anyone who read, I posted earlier about how my chiro and pcp diagnosed me with TMJD -- but the last 2 dentists I went to told me that all my complaints about my ear pain could not possibly be related to my dental situation or jaw!!!

I have complained, whined, griped, yelled, cried, pleaded, tried to state a case with cool, collected logic -- but all to no avail!!! OMG!!

Other than my grinding and ear/jaw pain, my ears are driving me bonkers!!

I complain to my doctors/dentists that it feels like I have swimmers ear!! All the time!! And (this one makes my husband laugh, but here goes) -- and, sometimes like when I'm walking out doors, it sounds like wind through a tunnel, or like when you blow air over a bottle! You know that almost "hollow" sound?? (I know, I just opened myself up entirely to that one!)

But this clogged, stuffed up, water-behind-the-ear-drum feeling, is so annoying! I know it's affecting my balance. If I listen to anything in stereo, like the movie theaters or when the hubby puts on the dolby, it can make me nauseous. The "sensation" of sound moving around me feels like I cannot handle it or adapt, and that "movement of sound" makes me feel sick to my stomach. That cloggy feeling is annoying and I keep playing with it to try and get rid of it (which may make it worse?) I'm forever trying to clean them out with hydrogen peroxide and/or a warm face cloth and q-tips.

I also have ULTRA HYPER SENSITIVE HEARING, and high pitched sounds (especially whistling, whiney guitar sounds, etc.) cause me physical pain. Sometimes the pain in my ears are so great that I cannot even lay my head down on ANY pillow, at all! Just to touch it even on the outside, hurts like crazy.

It often feels hot. It really feels like an infection -- so much so that I'd swear that's what it is!

Sometimes one ear or the other will get red, visibly, on the outside. It can also be hot to the touch.

The pain can be around the back of the ear (like where it connects to the skull) right down the side of my neck, into my throat, even into the occiput, and contrarily, it can also radiate into my sinuses.

I cannot seem to "relax" my jaw muscles no matter how hard I try. I have a very hard time keeping my mouth open. If a therapist says to relax my jaw, and they want my mouth open as proof that my jaw muscles are relaxed,...I can't do it! It's as if it's harder to open it in a "relaxed" (?) position than it is to keep it in my "natural" position (ie: closed tight!)

SOmetimes it feels like a hot poker is being stuffed into the ear canal too.

But wow that whole "water" and plugged up feeling is paramount.

It's interesting how MANY people here have that, and have confirmed diagnosises, and yet with so many of the same symptoms, I'm met with two dentists who are trying to tell me that nothing in the mouth or oral cavity can possibly cause jaw/ear/sinus dysfunction!

What gives!?

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