Your ear might seem like it functions independently and passively. You don’t have to open your ears to hear, nor do you have to turn your head to listen to sounds around you. Ear sensations seem to go right from your ear into your brain.

But the truth is that your ear is closely linked to your jaw, and that when your jaw isn’t working properly, you might experience serious ear problems. Unfortunately, that’s what happens to many people wearing dentures that are not properly fitted.

A woman covering her ears while walking outside on a busy street.

How Your Jaw Is Connected to Your Ear

You might think that your jaw doesn’t have much to do with your ear, but the truth is that the developmental path for ear bones is derived from jawbones. Although mammals only have one jawbone, reptiles have three–which is why snakes can open their mouths so wide. So what happened to the other two jawbones? They became ear bones in the process of evolution: mammals have three ear bones while reptiles have only one.

But connections remain: ligaments link ear structures to your jaw, and the bone that houses the inner ear is the temporal bone–half of the jaw’s temporomandibular joint.

Poor Denture Fit Can Lead to Ear Problems

Unfortunately, these connections mean that when your jaw isn’t working properly, it can affect the function of your ears.

Keeping your jaw in a healthy position depends on many factors. One of which is your teeth, which have to maintain proper spacing to ensure the components of your jaw stay in proper relation to one another.

And that’s a problem when you lose your teeth, obviously. Dentures are supposed to be made to replace your teeth in all their functions, including proper spacing for your jaw. But many dentures, especially cheap dentures, aren’t made to achieve this purpose. Dentists who aren’t trained in neuromuscular dentistry might not be able to measure the proper spacing for your jaw, so their dentures wouldn’t be capable of achieving that spacing.

An improperly positioned jaw has been associated with TMJ, and about 80% of TMJ sufferers experience ear problems, such as:

  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear pain
  • Feeling of stuffy ears
  • Vertigo

Of course, these symptoms might be caused by many different factors, such as medications, so it’s important to consider all potential causes before deciding your dentures are the problem.

Neuromuscular Dentures Can Help

But if you do think your dentures might be responsible for ear symptoms and other TMJ problems, there is a solution. FOY® Dentures are designed to properly replicate the spacing of your natural teeth, resolving your TMJ symptoms, including ear pain, tinnitus, and more.

To learn more about the benefits of FOY® Dentures in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.