8 of the Most Common Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is a common occurrence with more than three million cases reported each year. TMJ can occur when you suffer an injury to your teeth, teeth or jaw become misaligned, arthritis, gum chewing, teeth grinding or other damages or bad habits concerning your teeth and jaw functions.
There is one joint on each side of your mouth attaching your jaw to your skull. Muscles near this joint are what you use to open and close your mouth, and when the joint is out of line, you can’t move your mouth as you should.
If you are not sure if you’re suffering from TMJ, these are eight of the most common TMJ symptoms. Use these symptoms to know if you should consult a dentist for treatment.
The pain from TMJ can affect an area larger than the joint itself. You may feel discomfort throughout your entire jaw. The pain does not always radiate from the joint, at times it feels as though an issue exists in your whole jaw. The pain you experience may also appear as sore spots along the jawline.
Unusual Jaw Sounds
Not all TMJ symptoms cause pain. Unusual sounds made by your jaw when you chew gum, talk, eat, or anytime you use your mouth are also signs you have TMJ. The sounds you may be hearing are popping or clicking noises. These sounds occur when the joint has become damaged, or the ball portion of the joint has become malformed.
Noises alone are not always a sign of TMJ. If you have the pain along with the sounds, this could be a positive TMJ symptom.
TMJ can also affect your ears. The joint and your ears are very close to each other making a ringing in your ears another one of TMJ symptoms. Your muscles, ligaments, and nerves from your ears are near the joint, so if the joint is damaged, it could affect your ears.
Another of the TMJ symptoms is a swelling in your face, especially around the joint. The swelling can range from mild to severe and occurs when the joint becomes inflamed. Along with the swelling, you may also experience tenderness and pain in the area. The swelling isn’t always restricted to the joint area; it can extend to your lower jaw and the ear.
If you’ve developed TMJ due to grinding your teeth, chances are you will experience sensitive teeth. The pain can occur in any of your teeth, but generally, with TMJ, you will notice it the most in your molars. If you experience tooth pain, make sure TMJ is ruled out before having any other dental procedure.
TMJ symptoms can include muscle spasms. These spasms affect the side of your face where the condition occurs and can affect your eyes, neck, and cheeks. You may notice them as being mild and not continuous, but they can continue for extended periods of time.
TMJ sufferers often report experiencing headaches. These headaches can range from severe to mild and are sometimes compared to migraines. If your muscles or nerves have experienced damage, it is entirely possible headaches will accompany your other TMJ symptoms.
Pain in the Joint
TMJ is a condition affecting your temporomandibular joint so it is perhaps the first place you will experience pain. You have one joint on each side of your jaw, just in front of your ear. It works like a hinge so your jaw can move. This pain will be most noticeable when you are eating or talking.
If you are suffering any of these symptoms, we will check for signs of inflammation and listen for noises associated with the condition. They can make recommendations for you to correct this condition and relieve your pain. Please call (310) 623-3330 or click the button below for your free evaluation.