Otologic symptoms in temporomandibular disorders patients: is there evidence of an association-relationship?

Minerva Stomatol. Nov-Dec 2006;55(11-12):627-37.
[Article in English, Italian]

Abstract

Several studies in the literature investigated the association between temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and otogenous symptoms, like vertigo, tinnitus, otalgia and muffling, although the question of the existence of a cause-effect relationship is still controversial. Epidemiological findings showed that the prevalence of ear symptomatology in the general population is variable from 10% to 31%, and increases up to 85% in TMD patients. Based on these data, many attempts have been performed to describe the physiopathological interactions between aural symptoms and TMD, as a strict anatomical link exists between the structures of the ear and those of the stomatognathic system. Unfortunately, methodological weaknesses of most studies are evident so that the comparison of results is often difficult. Considering these premises, the present study critically reviewed the literature on this debated issue, discussing the main etiopathogenetic hypotheses, the features of ear symptomatology in TMD patients and its relationship with TMD treatment in order to present current suggestions about the relationship between aural and TMD symptoms. Suggestions for future researches have been also presented, since a full understanding of this plausible interaction will be an important factor in diagnosis making and treatment planning for both pathologies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ear Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications*