There is only one movable joint in your head – the one that helps you in opening of your mouth. You use this joint more than any other joint in your body – while you speak, while you eat, when you yawn… and can this be the cause of your ear pain?

Read on to know more.

Sometimes unexplained ear pain comes from the adjoining structure called as the temporomandibular joint. This is often due to the proximity of the two structures, common innervations and common origin.

Both the ear and the joint are neighbours to each other, with only one wall separating them.

As also, while you are growing in your mothers womb as an embryo, the structures of the ear, stapes and malleus are developed from the same structures as in your temporomandibular joint. This means both will be supplied by the same nerves.

The overlap of these two sometimes causes masking effect. That is the pain may be originating from the joint, but the symptoms may be those of ears.

Patients may experience ringing of ears aka tinnitus, dizziness, deafness, otalgia , vertigo etc. These complaints remain unresolvable inspite of multiple visits to many doctors.

Often patients would have been to ENTs, however there would be no sign of infections but prescribed analgesics would relieve pain for sometimes followed by reappearance of symptoms once the effect of analgesics wanes off.

It is in such cases that Temporomandibular joint problems must be suspected. And a visit to an orofacial pain and TMJ specialist scheduled.

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