#18 Tinnitus, Subjective Hearing Loss, Vertigo and TMD

Tinnitus, (Ringing or buzzing in the ears), Subjective Hearing Loss, (The feeling like you ears are full of water or you are in an airplane and can’t clear your ears), and Vertigo,(a constant or intermittent sense of dizziness) are all well- known and accepted symptoms of TMD/TMJ.  Although they are very common symptoms individually or in association with each other, the dental profession has been relatively quiet when it comes to explaining how and why these symptoms are part of the disease. Those dentists that try to treat TMD/TMJ try to ignore these three symptoms and just focus on the painful symptoms because they have no idea how these three symptoms are related to the painful symptoms.  Ironically, all three of these symptoms, when grouped together, have a “medical” diagnosis and it is not TMD/TMJ.  If you visit medical provider with the above three symptoms the doctor most familiar with them, the ENT (Otolaryngologist) will tell you that you have Meniere’s Disease. Dr. Prosper Meniere in 1861 was the first to connect these three symptoms associated with problems of the middle ear.  The middle ear is small hollow area encased in solid bone which contains the mechanisms for hearing and keeping you balanced. Unfortunately, if you are given the diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease, the ENT will tell you there is nothing that can be done for the problem.  You will need to live with it.  ENT physicians readily admit they have no idea what causes Meniere’s Disease.

Fortunately, there is very good news for those suffering from the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease and Tinnitus, Subjective Hearing Loss and Vertigo associated with TMD/TMJ.  I have written in previous articles how TMD/TMJ has a fundamental and obvious single cause. That cause is inflammation within the temporomandibular joint. Understanding this vital and simple fact and knowing the minute anatomy of the region of the TMJ revealed a direct connection between the joint and the middle ear.  Having degrees and thorough training in medicine, dentistry, and academic degrees in anatomy and cell biology, it only required a review of Gray’s Anatomy, (1956 Edition) to find an opening between the TMJ and middle ear called the Petrotympanic Fissure. The presence of the Petrotympanic Fissure was first described by a Swiss anatomist, Johann Glaser 340 years ago and is also called the Glasserian Fissure.  So, this is not a new discovery. It simply appears that no one has bothered to connect the dots and describe the relationship of the fissure, TMD/TMJ and Meniere’s Disease. This fissure allows the inflammatory fluid and cellular exudate to travel from the TMJ into the middle ear and create tinnitus, subjective hearing loss and vertigo by likely changing the acid/base balance of the endolymph and perilymph of the hearing and vestibular mechanisms.

Am I saying that Meniere’s Disease and TMJ/TMD tinnitus, subjective hearing loss, and vertigo are one in the same? No, not necessarily.  There may be other causes for these symptoms other than inflammatory fluid within the TMJ leaking into the middle ear.  What I am saying is that treating TMD/TMJ by unloading the joints with the Urbanek Device and Protocol have helped patients who have been given the diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease thousands of times.  We have an independent university study based on over 3000 patients that verifies this statement.

If you suffer, or know someone who suffers from Tinnitus, Subjective Hearing Loss, or Vertigo, consider passing on the good news.