TMJ Treatment Helps Patient Diagnosed with Ménière’s Disease

Mar 18, 2016, by Dr. Becky Coats

Jane Stillwell came to us suffering significantly from her Ménière’s disease. Her symptoms included headaches, jaw and facial pain, as well as extreme tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

She had been diagnosed with the condition five years before, but she had not found an effective treatment. When we determined the involvement of her jaw in the condition, we treated her jaw misalignment, giving Jane complete relief from her headaches and significant relief from other symptoms.

K7 readings

Jane’s Diagnosis and Treatment

Jane had been complaining about symptoms of TMJ, including jaw clicking and difficulty chewing. To determine the extent of her TMJ, we performed a CBCT scan that allowed us to image her temporomandibular joints. We also performed measurements using the K-7 diagnostic system and discovered a very high level of muscle tension in her jaw muscles.

We then manufactured an orthotic to correct the displaced jaw and muscle tension Jane experienced. She saw immediate relief when she began wearing the orthotic, and in the several months since starting therapy with the orthotic, Jane has not had a single headache.

Before-3D-Images After-3D-Images

What Is Ménière’s Disease?

Using digital impressions

Using digital impressions, we were able to design her oral appliance in our office.

Ménière’s disease is the name for an inner ear disorder that was discovered in the 1860s and named after Prosper Ménière, who discovered that vertigo could be caused by inner ear disorders. It is characterized by a number of symptoms, although tinnitus and tinnitus-related hearing loss are considered two of the most important. In addition, people experience regular bouts of vertigo lasting 20 minutes or more.

People with Ménière’s disease may also be at increased risk for migraines.

There is no cure for Ménière’s disease, and most people just have to cope with the condition. Management with physiotherapy sometimes helps.

Is Ménière’s Disease Misdiagnosed TMJ?

Although there are some physiologic causes that lead to Ménière’s disease, most people who have been diagnosed with the condition never have those physiologic causes identified. Doctors develop a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms and may not ever discover the exact cause of those symptoms.

Ménière’s disease shares many symptoms with TMJ. In fact, all symptoms of Ménière’s disease can be caused by TMJ. As a result, many TMJ sufferers are misdiagnosed with Ménière’s disease. That’s why it’s important for people diagnosed with Ménière’s disease to get a second opinion about the cause of their symptoms, especially if they are not responding to treatment of Ménière’s disease.

If you have been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease or another condition that shares symptoms with TMJ but haven’t been getting results from your current treatment, TMJ may be your true problem. To learn whether TMJ treatment in Grapevine can help you, please call (817) 481-6888 for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Becky Coats at Grapevine Dental Care