ear fullness due to TMJ

I was waking up with horrible jaw pain and headaches and after talking to my dentist I found out that I was clenching my teeth at night. I had no idea this was going on until I started cracking teeth right out of my head. Over the last year, I've had a root canal/crown on one tooth, and another molar had to be pulled. I cannot get a tooth implant because it will fail due to the bruxism.

My dental insurance will not cover a mouth guard made by my dentist ($400 if I pay cash), so I have bought several OTC to find one that works. I went through two sports-type guards that were horrible, uncomfortable, made me drool, etc. Threw them out. Then I found the Doctor's Night Guard Advanced Comfort (this was before I'd found your website, and I didn't know to get the Classic). This changed my life. I was finally able to sleep through the night without waking up from the pain of clenching my teeth. But after about a month, I started to feel like I was losing hearing in my left ear. At first I did not connect this to the TMJ. I went to an ENT, had hearing tests, etc. My hearing was OK (slightly diminished in the left ear, where I was feeling the fullness) and no infection, etc. The ENT said the problem was likely caused by TMJ. The fullness in the ear was driving me insane. Eventually I realized that it was especially bad in the morning and I connected it to the mouth guard. I stopped using the mouth guard and lo and behold, the feeling of fullness in my left ear was gone and I could hear again. But now of course I have the jaw pain and trouble sleeping.

I cut off the last few teeth from the Advanced Comfort, as you suggested. I thought that might work, since my dentist says my problem is likely that the molars on the left side (where I have the ear fullness) are hitting the guard first? With the back part of the Advanced Comfort cut off, I can wear the guard and so far the ear fullness is there, but not as bad as it was. One problem with the fit of the Advanced Comfort is that it is slightly painful on my upper teeth (it almost seems too tight, like when I boiled and fit it to my teeth I created too much suction?).

I decided to go out and buy the Classic after reading your site. I went to Target, but they no longer had it. They did have the Sleep Right Dura- Comfort, so I bought that for $33. That's a lot of money if it isn't going to work. It looks really weird and I'm not sure I trust it! Thinking of returning it and looking elsewhere for the Classic.

Have you heard of this ear fullness issue before? It's always my left ear. I am also worried about losing more teeth. Is there anything else that can be done to relieve the pressure and pain? I would do anything at this point.

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TMJ next generation
by: Anonymous

Using TMJ next generation ear canal inserts. Have had tremendous results expect 4 ear fullness. I have had them 6 days. Mayb a time passes ear fullness will disapate as well. Overcast 2day. Pressure n eats has been terrible.

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ear fullness and TMJ after partial root canal
by: Anonymous

What a blessing to find a site that addresses all the symptoms I've been having since a partial root canal procedure a month ago(file broke off inside tooth). I have the ear fullness,too,(in opposite ear from procedure)before trying a splint or guard which I'm about to do. It seems to go away and then come back again depending on the amount of stress I experience throughout the day. Same with jaw and head pain, but I have numbness,too in my face and tongue and thought that was recurring from the anesthesia,but maybe it's TMJ related. Thanks for all your insights. I have always had a teeth clenching problem and my molars are crumbling,too, at age 59. Guess I know why now.

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Ear Fullness
by: Anonymous

Hello,

The ear fullness is most likely caused by the clenching as you suspect. The mouth guards or splints from a dentist can cause this also.

Even in my office it may take a visit or two to adjust the splint appropriately to relieve pressure on the TMJoint. It has to do with the angles of how the bottom teeth contact the upper teeth/or upper splint/guard in relation to the 90 degree line of the resulting seating pressure/direction from the Temporal muscles on the condyle in the TMJoint.

So, if the modified guard does not work that you can find here on this website, I would recommend the Aqualizer mouth guard. That should relieve pressure in the TMJs. The "TMJ Appliance" that is made in Australia will do that as well. But, I find that one a bit cumbersome to wear.

The RCM Double Arch mouth guard might work as well. Although the RCM will increase clenching but the pressure will be more forward and downward in the joint which most likely will relieve the hurting tissues in the joint.

Good luck.

Dr. Spainhower

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