Can Gum Disease Cause Tinnitus: What Can A Dentist Do?

Tinnitus is a condition that can cause a person to experience ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in their ears. It affects an estimated 15-20% of the population and can significantly impact the quality of life. While there are many potential causes for tinnitus, including exposure to loud noises and certain medications, recent research has suggested that gum disease may also be linked.

man with gum disease and tinnitus

Can Gum Disease Cause Tinnitus? Studies have shown that people with periodontitis, a gum disease caused by plaque buildup around the teeth and gums, are more likely to experience tinnitus than those without. Therefore, gum disease may be a potential cause of tinnitus.

Researchers need to conduct further investigation to understand the specific mechanisms involved in the correlation between tinnitus and gum disease. 

In this article, we will examine if tinnitus can be caused by gum disease and consider possible remedies.

How Does Poor Oral Hygiene Affect Tinnitus?

Poor oral hygiene, such as inadequate brushing and flossing of the teeth, can lead to an increased risk of gum disease. As previously mentioned, gum disease appears to be linked to tinnitus. Therefore, maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for reducing the risk of developing both gum disease and tinnitus. 

Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily, flossing daily, and regularly visiting your dentist for check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health. Limiting or avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can lower the risk of gum disease and protect against tinnitus.

What Treatment Options Are Available For Gum Disease?

If you notice signs of tinnitus that may be related to gum disease, make sure to promptly seek medical attention from your dentist or physician so that they can diagnose and commence treatment. Read Here: Does Drinking Water Help With Tinnitus?

Treatment for gum disease typically involves professional cleaning and good oral hygiene practices at home. This may also include antibiotics and other medications as needed. Severe cases of the condition may require surgery as a necessary treatment.

It is important to note that while treating the underlying cause of tinnitus (i.e., gum disease) may help relieve symptoms, it is not necessarily a cure-all solution. Tinnitus can have many causes; addressing one potential cause may not lead to relief in all cases. Therefore, if you are experiencing tinnitus, it is crucial to speak to your doctor about other treatment options that may be available.

Can Treating Gum Disease Help Tinnitus?

Treating gum disease may help reduce symptoms of tinnitus in some cases. Treat periodontal issues, such as removing debris around the tooth’s root or scaling and root planning, which could result in improved blood flow to the inner ear and reduced tinnitus symptoms. Note that further research needs to be conducted in this field. Although treating gum disease might benefit some individuals with tinnitus, it might not be the ideal solution for everyone.

Addressing any underlying conditions, such as gum disease, should always be done in conjunction with other treatments for tinnitus, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or sound therapy.

Can periodontitis cause tinnitus?

Research suggests that periodontitis, a gum disease caused by plaque buildup around the teeth and gums, can increase the risk of tinnitus. This may be due to inflammation in the inner ear brought on by poor oral hygiene and an increased bacterial load in the mouth.

Therefore, people with periodontitis may be more likely to experience tinnitus symptoms than those without gum disease. However, further research is needed to understand precisely how these two conditions are related. 

In addition, It is important to note that treating the underlying cause of tinnitus (i.e., gum disease) may not always lead to relief from symptoms. Therefore, it is crucial to speak with your doctor about other treatment options that may be available.  Read Here: How Long Does Tinnitus Last After Ear Wax Removal?

Is Tinnitus Linked To Anything?

Various factors, including ear infections, hearing loss, stress, anxiety, certain medications, head or neck injuries, and others, can cause tinnitus. Recent research suggests that there may be a link between tinnitus and poor oral hygiene due to the increased risk of gum disease in individuals with tinnitus.

Therefore, speaking to your doctor if you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms is vital. They can help determine the cause and provide treatment options that may help reduce symptoms. In some cases, treating an underlying cause, such as gum disease, may relieve tinnitus symptoms.

Can A Tooth Infection Cause Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Yes, a tooth infection can cause pulsatile tinnitus. This type of tinnitus is characterized by a rhythmic sound in sync with one’s heartbeat. The sound tends to be loudest when lying down and can be caused by various conditions, such as blocked or narrowed blood vessels near the ear, aneurysms, or tumors in the head and neck area.

A tooth infection, known as an abscessed tooth, can lead to inflammation in the area which could cause pulsatile tinnitus. In addition to medical intervention, it may help improve oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily to avoid infections.  

How Do I know If My Tinnitus Is Caused By Dental Gum Disease

If you are experiencing tinnitus and believe it may be gum problems, a few signs can help you determine the cause. The causes include;

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can accumulate bacteria and plaque in and around the teeth, which can cause inflammation. This inflammation can lead to an increased risk of developing tinnitus. Additionally, periodontitis, a gum disease caused by plaque buildup around the teeth and gums, has been linked to an increased risk of tinnitus. Here is an article on how probiotic might help receding gums
  • Ear Infections: Ear infections cause hearing loss, associated with tinnitus symptoms. Infections in the ear can cause fluid buildup or swelling in the ear canal, disrupting sound signals reaching the brain and leading to tinnitus symptoms.
  • Stress and anxiety can worsen tinnitus symptoms by narrowing blood vessels and decreasing oxygen levels in the inner ear. The hormones released during stress affect blood flow and circulation, potentially contributing to tinnitus.

It is necessary to consult with your doctor about any medication you are currently taking and carefully monitor them. Some medications used to treat various conditions, like depression and high blood pressure, may lead to side effects such as tinnitus-like sounds or ringing in the ears, which can cause further damage.

  • Head or neck injuries: Trauma or injuries to your head or neck can cause tinnitus symptoms, such as buzzing or ringing sounds. If you have experienced a recent head or neck injury, seeking medical attention right away is essential. Prompt treatment can reduce the risk of long-term effects, including tinnitus symptoms.

Tooth infections: A tooth infection known as an abscessed tooth can lead to inflammation in areas around the jaw, neck, and inner ear, which could potentially cause pulsatile tinnitus (a type of tinnitus characterized by a rhythmic sound that is synchronized with one’s heartbeat).

Therefore, people must practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily, to avoid infections that could lead to pulsatile tinnitus symptoms down the line. Read This: Is Tinnitus Side Effects For Adderall?

Can A Dentist Help With Tinnitus?

Yes, a dentist can help with tinnitus. Suppose the cause of your tinnitus is related to poor oral hygiene or an infection in the area. In that case, a dentist can provide treatment and recommend lifestyle changes that may reduce your symptoms. For example, they may suggest brushing twice daily and flossing at least once per day to avoid infections and buildup of bacteria near the jaw joint.


Dental problems, such as poor oral hygiene, ear infections, stress and anxiety, medications, head or neck injuries, and tooth infections, can cause tinnitus. Good oral hygiene habits are important to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus-like symptoms due to jaw issues.

If you believe your tinnitus may be related to your jaw, a dentist can provide treatment and recommend lifestyle changes to reduce your symptoms. If you experience a head or neck injury, seeking medical attention immediately is crucial. This can significantly reduce the chances of long-term consequences such as tinnitus symptoms.


  • Kathie Miller

    Kathie Miller has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best share evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public eye. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible, and engaging to our readers.

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