Causes of TMJ
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
There are several symptoms associated with TMJ disorders. If you are experiencing more than one of these symptoms, give us a call and we will help you schedule an evaluation with one of our TMJ specialists.
A Surprising Symptom: Ear Pain & TMJ
Ear pain is a surprising but very common symptom associated with TMJ disorders. The ear is less than half an inch away from the TMJ. Inflammation from the jaw joint can easily affect the ear. In fact, many of the nerves that supply the ears are in the TMJ area.
The ear pain that comes with TMJ disorders is often a dull ache versus a sharp pain. The pain usually gets worse when you move your mouth. You can tell it is not an ear infection because you will not have a fever. Ear pain will be present with other TMJ symptoms such as jaw pain, clicking in the jaw, and headaches.
The Defining TMJ Symptom: Jaw Pain
Jaw pain is of course the most defining symptom of TMJ disorders. Jaw pain or headaches are frequent symptoms of TMJ disorders but are often overlooked by many healthcare providers. In addition to jaw pain, you may also notice a shift in your bite or you may be hitting harder on one side of your bite than the other. You may begin to experience a toothache simply because of this bite change which may be related to your underlying TMJ disorder.
Are Clicking or Popping Sounds Symptoms of TMJ?
Another common symptom of TMJ disorders is a clicking or popping sound in the jaw. The clicking sound is generally associated with cartilage pad change in the TMJ. This cartilage pad (disc) provides a cushion between the base of the skull and your lower jaw. If the surrounding ligaments or tissues get damaged, then the disc may dislodge or migrate from its normal position and create a clicking or grinding sound.
Lock Jaw May Be A Symptom of TMJ.
Lock Jaw and having a hard time opening your mouth are also symptoms of TMJ. When the TMJ is damaged or misaligned, it is restricted in its range of motion. This means if you have a TMJ disorder, you may have a hard time opening your mouth to eat, yawn, or even talk.
Likewise, if the TMJ is out of alignment, the ball of the joint will also become displaced and the jaw becomes locked. Lock Jaw can cause or be the result of a TMJ disorder.
Migraines & Headaches, Unfortunate Symptoms of TMJ.
Headaches and migraines are also common symptoms of TMJ. Headaches can be a direct or secondary result of TMJ disorders. If you have a headache because of TMJ you will experience a tight, dull ache. Your headache will feel worse on the side where your TMJ is impacted. Headaches are usually caused by swelling and inflammation in the jaw joint.
Migraines can be triggered by TMJ disorders. Migraines are often caused by stress. So, when the TMJ is inflamed, it can cause physical stress, resulting in migraines. Like regular headaches associated with TMJ, migraines are the result of inflammation in and around the jaw joint.
The PRECiDENT Difference
How Do We Diagnose TMJ Symptoms?
If you have a combination of any of these symptoms, especially jaw pain, you need to see a TMJ specialist. At PRECiDENT our specialists will take the time to understand and evaluate your TMJ symptoms. We always perform a thorough diagnosis before offering any treatment. Our goal is always to get to the root of the problem so we can help you find permanent relief.