Relationship between Otological Symptoms and TMD

Int Tinnitus J. 2018 Jun 1;22(1):30-34. doi: 10.5935/0946-5448.20180005.


Background: Patients with any type of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) may have several symptoms in their temporomandibular joints, masticatory muscles and associated structures, and may have otological symptoms such as tinnitus, ear fullness, ear pain, hearing loss, hyperacusis, and vertigo, which may be due to the anatomical proximity between the temporomandibular joint, muscles innervated by the trigeminal nerve, and ear structures. Objective: This study found a prevalence of ear complaints described in the medical records of patients (n = 485) at the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of the Temporomandibular Joint and Dental-Facial Functional Alterations at Tuiuti University of Paraná (CDATM/UTP), with TMD evaluated by the Research Diagnostic Criteria/Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/ TMD).

Method: After approval by the ethics committee were examined 485 medical records of patients of the CDATM/UTP, of both sexes a period of 2 years. The data analyzed were gender, age and the presence of reported otologic symptoms. The data were organized and subjected to statistical analysis using SPSS (IBM Statistic 20.0).

Results: The results showed a higher number of female patients between 41 and 50 years old. There was a prevalence of otological symptoms (tinnitus, deafness, dizziness, imbalance, and ear fullness) in 87% of TMD cases, regardless of sex and age. Tinnitus was the symptom with the highest prevalence (42%), followed by the ear fullness (39%).

Conclusion: These data support the correlation between temporomandibular disorders and otological symptoms, even without being caused directly by the ear.

Keywords: dentistry; ear ache; facial pain; temporomandibular joint; temporomandibular joint disorders; tinnitus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Ear Diseases / diagnosis
  • Ear Diseases / etiology*
  • Earache / etiology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications*
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Vertigo / etiology