Do I have an earache or TMJ?

Doctor looking in person's ear

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published August 28, 2022

Pain in the ear can have several causes. The most common are:

  1. Middle ear infection
  2. Impacted ear wax
  3. Eustachian tube dysfunction
  4. Ruptured eardrum
  5. TMJ dysfunction

The first four sources of ear pain all can be diagnosed and treated successfully by an ENT. If you have an earache, the first stop should be your ENT to rule in or rule out: middle ear infection, impacted ear wax, Eustachian tube (air pressure) dysfunction or a ruptured eardrum.

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Does TMJ cause dizziness?

Dizzy woman sitting down on floor

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published June 26, 2022

The answer is yes, TMJ can cause dizziness. But understand, there are several causes of dizziness and vertigo. TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder is only one of them. The key is to determine if TMJ is the cause – or is it something else?

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Tips for TMJ pain and headache relief

Woman sitting head down with headache

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published May 29, 2022

We all know there are multiple causes of headaches. TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is one of them. A TMJ headache is characterized by pain that starts in the muscles of the head and neck. Muscles can feel sore, tired, tense or painful to the touch.

Pain has to start somewhere – whether it’s in bone, muscle, skin, connective tissue, nerve or gland. Pain doesn’t just appear out of thin air. There’s always a primary cause – a culprit.

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Close up of woman's right side of face

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published April 24, 2022

The short answer: TMJ surgery should be a means of last resort. In many cases, there are less invasive TMJ treatment options available to you. 

Crunching sounds in your jaw joint. Pain when you eat. Can’t open your mouth fully. If you’re suffering with this, you might be considering TMJ surgery.

Sometimes surgery is the only option. But you’d be wise to examine more conservative treatment options before going under the knife.

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Close up of woman looking into sunset

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published March 27, 2022

The most effective TMJ treatment takes 3 things into consideration:

1. Is it treating the underlying cause of the TMJ problem or is it just treating symptoms?

2. Is it invasive? Does it involve the use of chemicals, drugs or surgery?

3. Is it sustainable? Will it last?

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What’s the difference between TMJ and TMD?

Man scratching head thinking

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published February 27, 2022

The short answer: TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. It’s the joint directly in front of your ear that connects your lower jaw to your head. It’s commonly called the TMJ.

TMD is an abbreviation for temporomandibular disorder. It’s a disorder of the actual temporomandibular joint. In other words, the joint is causing pain or dysfunction.

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Will my TMJ go away on its own?

Man with both hands on face

By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published January 30, 2022

The quick answer: Probably not. Depends what your actual problem is.

It’s kind of like wondering when you have a sharp pain in your chest, “Will it just go away?”

If it’s a minor case of heartburn from enjoying that large pizza last night – probably.

If it’s a coronary artery vasospasm that’s a precursor to heart attack – not so much.

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