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Connection between tinnitus and wisdom teeth?

Murray Grossan, MD

October 7, 2002


Question

Years ago I read that tinnitus can be caused when wisdom teeth are not being pulled. The teeth put pressure on nerves, and this causes the tinnitus. I've been told my wisdom teeth are severely impacted . I have suffered tinnitus since I was about age 16. What advice can you offer me?

Answer

Occasionally dental problems can affect the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and cause symptoms of a noisy or clicking jaw. Statistically, however, there is no direct relation between impacted wisdom teeth and tinnitus. Having impacted wisdom teeth is not considered a cause of tinnitus. Therefore, removing the impacted teeth in all probability would not clear the tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is disrupting your lifestyle (keeping you from sleep or waking you, making it difficult for you to concentrate, or causing you anxiety), I suggest you seek the services of an ENT (ear, nose and throat physician) and audiologist with expertise in the area of tinnitus management. If it is determined that there is no medically treatable cause of your tinnitus, a number of solutions are available to help you to cope with it more effectively. Among other things, these can include masking devices to cover up the offensive sound with a more soothing one, training in ways to mentally ''reassign'' the tinnitus to the level of an insignificant background sound, and anti-anxiety therapies.

BIO: Murray Grossan, M.D. is a board certified otolaryngologist practicing in Los Angeles, CA. He was a pioneer in the use of biofeedback techniques to relieve the pain and anxiety associated with TMJ discomfort and tinnitus. Dr. Grossan is an avid believer in the implementation of appropriate cerumen management programs in nursing homes and the use of amplification to prevent some forms of social withdrawal and depression.


murray grossan

Murray Grossan, MD


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