Imperfect bite may cause tinnitus

Rather than grinning and bearing it you might want to have your teeth checked. More and more dentists understand that an imperfect bite may be the cause of your tinnitus.

There is a broad consensus that tinnitus is mostly associated with damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. Now, however, it turns out that tinnitus may also be caused by an imperfect bite. This variation of tinnitus is somatosensoric like other types of tinnitus associated with muscle tension, primarily in the neck and jaw area.

Tinnitus associated with tense muscles often occurs along with facial, jaw and neck aches, difficulty gaping wide and a sense of tiredness in the mandibular joint. Patients with somatosensory tinnitus may also experience changes in their tinnitus at various times of the day or night as their levels of stress change, and many report that they can change their tinnitus by turning their head or applying pressure on various parts of their face, neck or scull.

Effective treatment

Now there is new hope for patients with somatosensory tinnitus due to an imperfect bite. Several Scandinavian dentists have shown that this condition can be alleviated with relatively simple physiological treatments.

A Swedish study found that realignment of the jaw with a mouth guard or manipulation can restore the balance in the bite and reduce muscle tension. Often, the realignment required to relax the jaw and reduce tension and the resulting tinnitus is surprisingly minute. At the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm the study found found that 73 percent of 120 patients experienced a reduction in their tinnitus even two years after treatment.

Similar results were found in Denmark, where dentists and physio-therapists work together in the treatment of tinnitus patients with imperfect bites. About half of the patients in a Danish study said they experienced improvements in their tinnitus condition, with a few reporting that they became free of all symptoms.