Vertigo is a condition of dizziness and unexplained spinning. It can reduce the efficiency at which you carry out your daily activities, but can it be caused by TMJ disorder? After your ENT doctor has ruled that your ears are in good condition, the next point of call is to check your TMJ as an inflammation of the joint may affect the ear. What does TMJ dizziness feel like? And what can you do to stop TMJ dizziness floating feeling and lightheadedness?
Since TMJ-induced vertigo is due to inflammation of the TMJD, reducing further joint damage is helpful. The use of specially designed TMJ pillows help provide proper support and alignment to your jaw, neck, and shoulders. We recommend the highly rated Envy TMJ Relief Pillow. For daytime pain relief, use the LotFancy cold/heat therapy.
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TMJ and Dizziness – Can TMJ Cause Dizziness Floating Feeling or Vertigo Lightheadedness?
The inner ear controls the position of your body in space and gives you balance by the transmission of signals to the vestibular nuclei. If these signals are disrupted, your body’s position and balance become a problem, leading to dizziness.
Recent studies have shown that there is a connection between TMJ disorder and dizziness. The link between these two is not fully understood yet but there are some theories as to why it is so.
One suspected link between TMJ and vertigo is due to the common ligament the inner ear shares with the jaws. So the bones that are responsible for hearing and balance are also connected with the bones of the temporomandibular joint.
Since TMJ problems are usually followed by stress to the bones and other anatomical structures of the joint, the ligaments the jaw shares with the inner ear can also be stressed.
This further implies that the middle and inner ear that is responsible for balance is not in their best state.
Another possible reason for the relationship between ear and jaw pain with vertigo is the displacement of the temporal bone and its contents.
Since the TMJ connects the jaw to the head through the temporal bone, any disorder could lead to a shift in the temporal bone including the middle and inner ears, resulting in a lack of equilibrium and balance.
What Does TMJ Dizziness Feel Like?
Vertigo associated with TMJ problems can be likened to the feeling you get when you just get off a merry go round at the amusement park. Even when you get off the ride, you still have this floating feeling and it feels like you are still turning in circles.
This is because your semicircular canals are still moving. The disconnection between the signals from your ears and eyes are what causes the feeling of dizziness and floating feeling.
Ear and jaw pain dizziness lightheadedness can be likened to this feeling because of the imbalance that exists between your organs. Note that your body gets its balance by signal integration between your ears and eyes.
Dizziness from vertigo is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- The perception that objects are in motion
- The feeling of being pulled to the floor
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Ear and jaw pain
How to Stop TMJ Dizziness or Vertigo Lightheadedness
Usually, drugs are administered to a patient suffering from vertigo to treat the feeling, but the cause is often ignored.
If the cause of your ear and jaw pain dizziness is a result of inflammation to your TMJ, then modalities need to be put in place to prevent further damage to the joint. These may include prevention or reduction of bruxism, clenching of the jaw, and also bite realignment amongst other things.
Signs That You May Have TMD
If you have vertigo but are not sure if yours is related to TMD, then you can learn the signs that follow TMJD. These signs include:
- Clicking sounds in front of your ears at the condylar position
- Difficulty in opening and closing your jaw
- Pain and tenderness around the joint
- Popping or grating sounds when you move your jaw
You can resolve TMD using some home remedies if you are not in a lot of pain. Using ice and hot treatment helps relieve TMJ disorder pain and reduce dizziness you are feeling if it’s associated with TMD.
Be more careful with the way you move your jaws and avoid doing some activities that stress the joint like chewing gum, talking, or yawning loudly.
Reduce inflammation using over the counter drugs, and eat soft food only. All of these will give the joint time to heal and also speed up the process of healing.
Other effective treatment options may have better effects on stopping dizziness from TMJ disorder.
TMJ orthodontic is a customized device that resembles an athlete’s mouthguard. It’s used to treat vertigo from TMJ disorder that is a result of jaw displacement.
The orthodontic realigns the jaw and takes the pressure off the bones and contents of the inner ear that may have been causing the dizziness.
This method of treatment has proven to be an effective method of providing relief to vertigo from TMJ.
TENS is short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This method is used to relieve the stress and pressure on the jaw muscles so that they can go relax back to their natural position.
An electric impulse unit is used to perform the procedure and once done, a mouthpiece is used to help keep the jaw muscles in their relaxed position.
Relaxing the jaw muscles reduces the strain on the jaw so that the bones and their contents can all take their natural positions.
This correct position is the aim of this procedure so that the ear can once again function properly to help the body achieve balance.
Bite realignment is one of the ways to cure TMJ disorder and stop vertigo. Bad bite isn’t necessarily a conscious act, but it’s due to the arrangement of the teeth when biting takes place.
This awkward teeth position can also be seen when chewing or when your mouth is at rest. It is one of the causes of TMD and fixing this would in the long run solve vertigo.
Restorative dentistry is the solution to bad bite as the use of mouthpieces would only solve the problem temporarily. By permanently ensuring that the teeth come together during biting, chewing, and when the jaw is relaxed, awkward positions and pressure on the joint are taken away, so that the bones and their contents are relaxed at normal positions.
Final Words About Can TMJ Cause Dizziness Floating Feeling
Even though there hasn’t been a clear understanding of the relationship between TMD and vertigo, there are theories that seek to explain why you feel dizzy or lightheaded if there is any stress or misalignment in your temporomandibular joint.
Different treatment approaches to cure TMJ dizziness and floating feeling exist ranging from simple acts of using ice and heat packs, to TENS therapy, restorative dentistry, and also TMJ orthodontics.
Using the appropriate pillows during the night help alleviate TMJ pain and keep your head and neck in the right position. We recommend Envy TMJ Relief Pillow to best relieve the pressure on your jaw during sleep. You may also want to check out our full best TMJ pillows 2024 article.