Tinnitus: Prevalence in patients with temporomandibular disorders

Between 10 to 15% of the population suffer with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) common symptoms include clicking and crepitus of the joints ,limited or painful mouth opening and stiffness of the jaw muscles. Tinnitus, my patient experiences ringing swishing or whistling sounds the absence of external stimulation is also reported by some patients. Several theories for a link between TMD and tinnitus have been proposed.

The aim of this review was to evaluate the prevalence of tinnitus in patients with TMD and whether TMD treatment can affect tinnitus.


Searches were conducted in the PubMed, Cochrane Library and Web of science databases with no restriction on language. This was supplemented by a search of selected textbooks and reference lists on included papers. Studies involving more than 10 TMD patients published in English or Swedish were considered.

Two reviewers independently selected studies, extracted data and assess risk of bias using the Joanna Briggs Institute Prevalence Critical Appraisal Tool and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.


  • 25 studies were included.
  • 17 studies considered the prevalence incidence, 5 considered prevalence ,incidence and treatments and 5 considered treatment alone.
  • Reported prevalence of tinnitus was 3.7% to 70% (median 42.3%) in TMD patients compared with 1.7% to 26% (median 12%) in control groups.
  • Only one study provided evidence that treatment could improve tinnitus symptoms compared with no treatment.


True story. My dad had hearing loss, almost deaf. Turns out after a recent visit to the ENT that he had extra bone growth in his middle ear. Month later and a surgery. He can hear like a normal person again! Its a miracle really. The volume of their tv was up to 45, now he can hear easily at 12. Huge difference. Still has some tinnitus, but between you guys and me, I think its actually sz he’s hearing.

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