Original Research

Clinical signs and symptoms of tinnitus in temporomandibular joint disorders: A pilot study comparing patients and non-patients

Amisha Kanji, Katijah Khoza-Shangase
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 60, No 1 | a5 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v60i1.5 | © 2013 Amisha Kanji, Katijah Khoza-Shangase | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2013 | Published: 27 November 2013

About the author(s)

Amisha Kanji, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Tinnitus is one of the otologic symptoms commonly reported to be associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), and questions regarding its nature and cause continue to plague the clinical and research community.

Objectives: The current pilot study aimed to investigate the clinical signs and symptoms of presenting tinnitus in a group of individuals with TMD (group A), and compare them with a group with tinnitus but without TMD (group B). Twenty participants were included in the study, 10 from each group.

Methods: All participants underwent basic audiological as well as ear, nose and throat (ENT) evaluations to establish group A and group B. For tinnitus assessment, all participants completed a tinnitus survey questionnaire, and their tinnitus was evaluated using tinnitus matching procedures.

Results: Findings revealed clinically relevant differences in attributes of tinnitus in patients with and without TMD. Most of the participants in group A matched their tinnitus to a 6 000 Hz tone or noise, at lower intensity levels than participants in group B, although these results were not statistically significant. Participants in group A associated their tinnitus with a single sound whereas some participants in group B associated it with more than one sound. More participants in group B reported the duration of their tinnitus as constant.

Conclusions: Tinnitus may occur in patients with TMD, and be of high frequency. This highlights the importance of thorough assessment for patients with tinnitus as this might have implications for diagnosis and management.


matching; pitch; tinnitus retraining therapy; temporomandibular disorder


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