How TMJ affects the ears

If you just started noticing changes in your hearing, Amplifon is here for you.

Ways TMD can impact on an individual's hearing

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) involve the junction between the temporal bones of the skull and the jaw. TMJ ear pain results from the malfunction of the muscles or joints of the jaw or the fibrous tissue that connects them.

Due to the proximity of the temporomandibular joint to the ear, disturbances in this joint may also affect hearing.

What is the TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorders encompass a group of painful conditions that affect the masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joint. When experiencing this condition, the patient may encounter pain while chewing and speaking, sometimes leading to discomfort in the ear.

Pain appears in most cases after puberty and, in 80% of cases, affects females.

What can cause TMJ disorder?

The most common TMJ causes are:

  • Dental malocclusion. Most of the temporomandibular pains can be traced back to an inadequate occlusion;
  • Tension of the masticatory muscles. This pathology could be the consequence of psychological factors that can cause this tension;
  • Bruxism. This pathology causes the involuntary contraction of the facial muscles used for chewing, overloading the temporomandibular joint.

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

Find out more about the relationship between ear, nose and throat.

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TMJ-Related hearing loss

There is a close correlation between hearing loss and TMJ. In fact, the anatomical proximity between this joint and the hearing system could lead to the occurrence of hearing problems as the inflammation of the joint can spread, affecting the hearing system. 

Let us examine different types of hearing loss caused by TMJ disorder.


Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that affects the outermost part of the ear, i.e. the ear canal, the eardrum membrane and the small bones inside the eardrum (hammer, anvil and stirrup).


Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that affects the acoustic nerve, which serves to carry the sound arriving at the cochlea of ​​the inner ear to the specific auditory area of ​​the brain, where we process and understand it.


Mixed hearing loss is the type of hearing loss that has both a conductive hearing loss component and a sensory hearing loss component. In this case, both the outer and inner ears were damaged. 

TMJ and ear pain

Due to the anatomical proximity between the temporomandibular joint and the ear, the inflammation of this joint can also extend to the auditory system, causing pain. In this case, however, the research work must be interdisciplinary to rule out possible implications for the ear.

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We take the time to understand your hearing health and the impact it’s having on your life and the people closest to you. With approximately 200 Amplifon clinics in the UK, we can ensure that we can support you when you need us most. Whether you need a FREE hearing test, or a hearing aid adjustment, our audiologists will provide you with expert, professional advice.

TMJ and other ear disease

TMJ can potentially trigger other hearing disorders, like tinnitus, where individuals perceive a continuous ringing sound without any actual external noise. Specifically, the inner ear, responsible for sound perception, may be affected, leading to an inability to capture sounds accurately and resulting in discomfort.

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Treatment options for ear pain

TMJ can be treated through surgical or non-surgical therapy.

Surgical therapy is aimed at reducing joint load, preserving joint mobility and cartilage. Non-surgical therapy, on the other hand, acts through various therapies, both manual and non-manual, which aim to rehabilitate the joint.

Treatment options for hearing loss

If experiencing hearing loss, a hearing aid can be an effective solution. Nonetheless, before making any decisions, it is always best to consult a specialist to find the most suitable solution for your specific hearing needs.

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