What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to dizzy spells (vertigo) and hearing loss. In most cases, Meniere’s Disease affects only one ear. It can cause pressure or a feeling of fullness in the ear, severe dizziness, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and fluctuating hearing loss.

We recognize the importance of addressing Meniere’s Disease in your comprehensive oral health care. Though it’s primarily an ear-related issue, its symptoms can indirectly affect dental health. For instance, vertigo and dizziness can make routine dental visits challenging, while the stress and discomfort associated with Meniere’s Disease can lead to teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism).

Who Is At Risk?

Meniere’s Disease is a condition that doesn’t discriminate – it can affect adults of any age, though it’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 40s and 50s. Our TMJ dentist understands that anyone walking through our doors could be living with this condition. That’s why our team is trained to recognize symptoms related to Meniere’s Disease and to provide guidance on how this can impact oral health.

Dangers of Untreated Meniere’s Disease

woman suffering from Meniere's Disease, an inner ear disorderWe stress the importance of addressing Meniere’s Disease, not just for your hearing and balance but also for your overall health, including oral care. If left untreated, this disorder can lead to various complications:

  • Persistent Vertigo and Balance Issues: These symptoms can significantly affect your daily life, making performing routine activities, including visiting the dentist, challenging.
  • Increased Risk of Falls and Injuries: Due to balance problems, there is a heightened risk of accidents, which could impact your oral health if facial injuries occur.
  • Neglected Dental Care: The discomfort and dizziness associated with Meniere’s Disease might lead to postponing or avoiding dental appointments, which can worsen oral health conditions.
  • Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Stress and discomfort can contribute to teeth grinding, leading to tooth wear, jaw pain, and other dental issues.

How A TMJ Dentist Can Help

We approach the treatment of Meniere’s Disease, focusing on its potential connection to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Research has shown that addressing underlying TMD can significantly alleviate symptoms associated with Meniere’s Disease. Here’s how we tackle this:

  1. Neuromuscular Appliance Fitting: One effective treatment we offer involves fitting patients with a neuromuscular appliance. This appliance is designed to align the jaw properly. When the jaw is correctly aligned, it relieves stress on the temporomandibular joint, reducing symptoms like vertigo, ringing in the ear, and fluctuating hearing loss.
  2. Coordinated Treatment for TMD: Studies have highlighted the effectiveness of treating TMD in patients with Meniere’s Disease. By focusing on TMD, we can offer a coordinated treatment plan that targets the root cause of the symptoms.
  3. Occlusal Adjustments: Another approach we utilize is occlusal adjustment. A retrospective cohort study found this highly effective in treating patients. By adjusting the bite, we can reduce the stress on the jaw and alleviate related symptoms.
  4. Addressing Dental Pathology: Some research suggests that common intraosseous dental pathology within the mandible and maxillae may contribute to Meniere’s Disease. We examine these areas thoroughly to identify and treat any potential underlying issues.

Dentistry’s Role in Meniere’s Disease Management

We recognize dental health’s crucial role in managing Meniere’s Disease. Our focus extends beyond traditional dental care to include early detection of symptoms, particularly if linked to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

We tailor our dental treatments to accommodate the unique challenges, such as vertigo, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience. Understanding the broader health implications of Meniere’s Disease allows us to provide comprehensive and preventative dental care integral to our patients’ overall well-being.

Comprehensive Care for Meniere’s Disease in Des Moines

At Lawson Dentistry, we believe in treating our patients with a holistic approach that goes beyond just dental procedures. Understanding this disorder and its implications on oral health is part of our commitment to providing comprehensive care. We are dedicated to treating the dental aspects of Meniere’s Disease and supporting our patients’ overall health and well-being.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that might be related to this inner ear disorder, we encourage you to talk to us during your next visit. Our team is here to listen, understand, and provide the best care tailored to your needs. We’ll work with you to manage any oral health challenges associated with Meniere’s Disease, ensuring your dental care experience is comfortable, safe, and effective. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (515) 278-4366. We’re here to help you on your journey to optimal oral health and overall well-being.