Because so much in our bodies are connected, it makes sense that there is a connection between many health issues both in symptoms and in treatments. Sometimes it takes years to determine these connections, but once they happen the relief of those who suffer from them make all the research and studies worth it.
In the 90s, studies found a possible link between two fairly common medical conditions: TMJ disorder, sometimes called TMD, and Meniere’s disease. They determined that treating Meniere’s with methods typically used for TMJ disorder treatment, lessened the severity and in some cases eliminated the symptoms of patients who were suffering.
New research shows a continued interest in the connection between the two diseases and how treating one can, in turn, help doctors, dentists and other medical professionals treat the other.
What is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear, usually just one but it can occur in both ears, and causes sudden dizziness or vertigo often alongside pain or pressure in the ear, ringing in the ear and potentially hearing loss.
More than 615,000 Americans suffer from Meniere’s disease. Some have symptoms that last a few days at a time while others have sudden short, debilitating episodes of pain and dizziness. One of the most frustrating aspects of this condition for those who have it is there is no known cure at this time and it’s still unknown what exactly causes the disease.
A Connection Between Meniere’s and TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorders occur when there is a problem with the joint that connects the jaw to the skull: the temporomandibular joint, hence the name. Scientists began studying a possible link between the two medical conditions due to the strikingly similar symptoms associated with them both.
Ringing and pain in the ears is often a symptom of TMJ disorders that many patients and doctors alike don’t realize said Dr. Ken Collins, DDS, leading Spokane area dentist.
“It makes sense that the first reaction for many patients when they experience ear pain is to visit their primary doctors,” he said. “But when no cause can be found, some turn to the internet to find answers. That’s when they usually learn that their ear pain could be related to something in their mouth.”
Neuromuscular Dentistry Helps TMJ Patients
A relatively new approach to treating patients suffering from TMJ disorders is called Neuromuscular Dentistry. It uses computer analysis and jaw tracking to diagnose and evaluate patients and muscle relaxation techniques via a TENS machine and manual decompression to treat them.
In an article published in Dentistry Today, patients with Meniere’s disease that were treated with neuromuscular dentistry techniques have reported less ringing in the ears and improved symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.
More research is needed to determine if Neuromuscular Dentistry can be used as an effective treatment for Meniere’s patients, but the outlook is positive.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788