Tensor tympani muscle: strange chewing muscle

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2007 Mar 1;12(2):E96-100.


This work seeks to alert medical and odontological staff to understanding and using interdisciplinary handling for detecting different pathologies common otic symptoms. It offers better tools for this shared symptomatology during therapy s conservative phase. Tensor tympani muscle physiology and function in the middle ear have been veiled, even when their dysfunction and anatomical relationships may explain a group of confused otic symptoms during conventional clinical evaluation. Middle ear muscles share a common embryological and functional origin with chewing and facial muscles. This article emphasizes that these muscles share a functional neurological and anatomical dimension with the stomatognathic system; these muscles increased tonicity ceases to be a phenomenon having no logical connections. It offers functionality and importance in understanding referred otic symptoms in common with other extra-otical symptom pathologies. Tinnitus, vertigo, otic fullness sensation, hyperacusia, hypoacusia and otalgia are not only primary hearing organ symptoms. They should be redefined and related to the neighboring pathologies which can produce them. There is a need to understand temporomandibular disorders and craniofacial referred symptomatology from neurophysiologic and muscle-skeletal angles contained in the stomatognathic system. Common symptomatology is frequently observed in otic symptoms and temporomandibular disorders during daily practice; this should be understood by each discipline from a broad, anatomical and clinical perspective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ear Ossicles / physiopathology
  • Ear, Middle / physiopathology
  • Earache / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Tensor Tympani / physiopathology*
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / physiopathology