If you have ever experienced a cracking noise or sound in your ear, it can be a common abnormality that is experienced by many people. While some cases of a cracking noise in your ears are benign, they may not go away easily. The cracking sound in your ear can be very annoying and might even lead to distress because it often leads people to become fixated on what is causing the sensation in your ears. As a result, this could lead to anxiety, lack of sleep, poor school or work performance an even decreased mood.

What is it?

While it might be because of ear wax, drugs, medications or even eustachian tube dysfunction, the irritable sound can often be associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This disorder is characterized by pain or tenderness in the jaw–it can sometimes be very painful. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) uses the jaw muscles every day to allow us to chew food, speak and breathe.

Each of these actions rest upon the TMJ, controlling the jaw movement. The exact cause of TMD might be difficult to determine, but it can often be the result of several factors including genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.

Treating TMD

Treatment for TMD can sometimes include medications. It is important to receive a diagnosis and prescription from your dentist before taking measures into your own hands. The medications used vary, but might include pain relievers or anti-inflammatories, as well as muscle relaxants.

Another successful treatment option is an oral appliance, which is a soft or firm device inserted over the teeth. It can benefit some people and provide relief from discomfort and pain. With an appointment, Dr. Mayoor Patel can prescribe an appropriate oral appliance for your individual case. Physical therapy can also help and might include the use of moist heat and ice, as well as various strengthening exercises and stretching techniques.

Contact Dr. Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on TMD and what your treatment options are.