You might not know what tinnitus is, even if you experience this condition. It is characterized by the sensation of a humming or ringing noise in the ears, even when no such noise is present in the external environment. In some cases, it isn’t known what causes tinnitus, although it could be related to faults in the hearing system and it is a common side effect of ear canal obstruction, pressure in the inner ear, and trauma to the eardrum.
In some cases, tinnitus will go away on its own in time, and in other cases it persists, despite treatment by a doctor. What you might not know is that your dentist could offer some assistance when it comes to assessing the cause of your tinnitus and addressing the condition. How can a dentist help with tinnitus? Here’s what you should know.
If you suffer trauma to teeth, it could lead to the onset of tinnitus or worsen an existing condition. This is especially common in cases of trauma due to an accident, such as an auto collision or sporting injury where there is impact to the head. A dentist may be able to help by treating oral injuries so that the area can heal.
Another common cause of dental-related tinnitus is bruxism, or the unconscious clenching and grinding of teeth, often during sleep. Regardless of the causes of bruxism (commonly stress, trauma, or even allergies), the condition can be easily treated with the use of a bite guard, which dentists custom make for individual patients.
Finally, tinnitus could be a side effect of abscesses or impacted wisdom teeth. In both cases, proper dental treatment could help. An abscess should be treated anyway, as it could lead to serious health risks, in addition to the pain and other symptoms you’re bound to experience. As for impacted wisdom teeth, you’ll need to speak with the dentist about the best course of treatment, but if there’s a chance they’re responsible for your tinnitus, removal is likely the way to go.
In some cases, dental procedures could be a cause of tinnitus, or worsening symptoms. This might be due to the high-pitched whine of the drill or because of swelling, pressure, or inflamed nerves following certain procedures like fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, or dental implants, just for example. In all cases, symptoms will generally recede with time and healing.