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Does TMD Cause Vertigo?

Submitted by Michael R. Cortese, D.M.D. on Thu 02/02/2017 - 09:00

In Dr. Michael Cortese’s last blog post, he detailed the common and debilitating ways that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can interfere with a person’s everyday life. In this post, he wants to explore a lesser-known TMJ symptom: vertigo. Read on to learn more about the potential link between TMJ disorder and vertigo.

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation of feeling dizzy or off-balance. During a spell of vertigo, objects may feel as though they are moving (when they are not), or the room may feel like it is spinning or swaying.

The Link between TMD and Vertigo

Inside the ear is a tiny organ called a labyrinth that helps to make up the body’s vestibular system, or the system responsible for keeping the body balanced. The labyrinth contains three canals that are filled with fluid that tells us if we are moving. The movement of this fluid sends the brain signals about balance and the body’s position.

If any part of the labyrinth is disturbed, including the fluid filling the labyrinth’s canals, it disrupts the signals going to the brain, and causes feelings of dizziness, being off-balance or vertigo.

The labyrinth is positioned in the temporal bone of the skull — the same bone where the TMJ attaches to the skull. Therefore, if the TMJ becomes inflamed, misaligned or otherwise damaged, it is likely to affect the nearby labyrinth.

Getting Relief from Dizziness

Vertigo is frightening, inconvenient and in serious cases, could lead to substantial injuries. Dizziness while walking or driving could cause a fall or even a motor vehicle accident. For this reason, it is important to be checked by a medical professional who can identify the root cause of the vertigo.

If Dr. Cortese tests you and finds a diagnosis of TMD, his 12 week therapy program (using evidence-based researched protocols) can provide relief from your vertigo symptoms.

Contact Princeton Prosthodontics

For more information about TMD testing and treatment, please contact Princeton Prosthodontics and request a consultation with Dr. Cortese. Call or email us today to make your appointment.