At his Chicago dental office, Dr. Kelly effectively treats Chicago ear pain, ringing, or congestion sufferers. He uses the latest technology to accurately assess and diagnose his patients.
The reasons for ear pain in Chicago aren’t as simple as one would think, and effective treatment may come from an unlikely source: a visit to a Chicago dentist. We hope this information can help you discover more about what may be causing your ear pain.
Ear Pain Treatment with Your Chicago Dentist
Most Chicago ear pain suffers assume that an ear infection is to blame, so they visit their primary physician or ENT specialist. But what if the examination results are normal? There could be another culprit: the jaw—specifically Temporomandibular Dysfunction, or TMD. TMD is the most commonly misdiagnosed cause of ear pain. Many suffer for months or even years with ear pain before discovering that the root of the problem was never actually in their ear at all. At our Chicago dental office, we often see patients who have had multiple courses of different antibiotics from their family physicians or ENT specialists before being referred to us for a TMD evaluation. Poor alignment of the jaw can lead to spasm of the delicate muscles of the ear, resulting in ear pain. The symptoms of this condition present in so many different ways that the treating doctor can easily classify them into several different diagnoses. If the ear pain you have been experiencing has not been resolved after a thorough examination of the ear and/or treatment by an ear, nose and throat specialist, the problem could very well lie with TMD. Your Chicago Dentist can help.
Ear Ringing Treatment with Your Chicago Dentist
Called tinnitus, ringing and roaring noises in the ears may arise from several causes. Loud noise, clogging of the external auditory canal with ear wax, inflammation of the ear drum, or an overdose of medications such as aspirin are all possible sources. However, a large number of cases can be traced back to TMD. The delicate balance of muscles and ligaments within the ear can be disrupted by TMD, causing tinnitus.
Stuffiness of the Ear / Ear Congestion Treatment with Your Chicago Dentist
Ears can feel stuffy and congested when the Eustachian tube is blocked. This is very common when infection, swelling and inflammation are present. It can also occur when the tiny muscle that controls the opening is in spasm. When jaw alignment is poor, the muscles of mastication and their associated posture muscles have to work hard to compensate. This constant compensation can lead to muscle spasms. By using the techniques of neuromuscular dentistry at Dr. Kelly’s Chicago dental office, correcting the jaw alignment often leads to the resolution of ear symptoms from this cause.
Ear Infection Treatment with Your Chicago Dentist
Unless there has been trauma to the ear or the surrounding area, ear pain, ear congestion or ear aches are usually the result of blockages or infections. Ear canals can become blocked by ear wax and cause pain. In most cases, over-the-counter remedies to remove excess ear wax are helpful. Redness and swelling of the outer ear could indicate an infection. Ear pain can result from an infected ear canal, which most people know as “swimmer’s ear.” Most cases of swimmer’s ear can be treated by keeping the ear dry and applying a few drops of alcohol and white vinegar mixture. If this common cure does not resolve the issue, seek a physician’s help. Ear pain can also ensue when tiny bone structures (called mastoid air cells) in the skull behind the air get infected. Due to the poor blood supply in this area, an infection here difficult to treat. It often needs antibiotic treatment and, in some cases, surgery. Infections of the middle ear are more common in children than in adults. The path of these infections is usually the Eustachian tube, which requires antibiotic therapy to treat successfully. The Eustachian tube is a membrane-lined tube that connects the middle ear space to the back of the nose. It serves to ventilate the middle ear, enabling the pressure inside the ear to remain stable at near normal ambient air pressure. The secondary responsibility of the Eustachian tube is to drain accumulated secretions, infection, or debris from the middle ear space. The Eustachian tube is usually closed, but in a rare condition, the tube is always open, causing chronic ear infections. A more typical problem results when the Eustachian tube fails to regulate pressure effectively on a consistent basis. Partial or complete blockage of the Eustachian tube can cause popping, clicking and ear fullness. As the function of the Eustachian tube becomes less effective, air pressure in the middle ear falls, and the ear can feel uncomfortably full and sounds become muffled. Over time a vacuum is created, which can cause fluid to be drawn into the middle ear space. If the fluid becomes infected, an ear infection develops. Allergies, colds or the flu can lead to inflammation of the Eustachian tube, preventing the equalization of pressure to the ears and causing pain. Blockage of salivary flow can also cause infection and pain. Often an ENT specialist will be needed to treat this condition. For ear pain, ringing and congestion treatment, make an appointment today with your Chicago dentist