Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a relatively unheard-of disorder that occurs in the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the skull to the jaw. When this joint becomes damaged, it can cause painful symptoms.
If you are aware of the symptoms, it is possible to take action fast to prevent the issue from getting worse and causing more pain. To help you spot the signs of TMJ, we’ve got a list of some of the main symptoms you need to keep an eye out for. Remember, symptoms may vary from case to case. It can be pretty difficult to diagnose TMJ disorder, so it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as you have any suspicions.
Headaches and Migraines
If you find that you are experiencing severe headaches or migraines regularly, this is a sign that something else is going on. One possible cause could be TMJ disorder, as this is a reasonably common symptom amongst TMJ sufferers. If you also find that headaches happen several times a week, it is best to seek medical help or visit a TMJ dentist for an evaluation.
Cracking Sounds When Opening Your Mouth
If you notice a popping or cracking sound coming from your jaw when you open and close your mouth, this could be a TMJ disorder warning sign. This clicking or popping noise is often linked to the sound of the disc inside your TMJ joint falling into an unnatural position.
Any awkward motion involving the joints in your jaw, the muscles connecting those joints and your teeth will cause an imbalance. Any misalignment between your top and bottom teeth can lead to additional pressure being placed upon certain teeth. This materializes in the form of cracked, work, or broken teeth. Furthermore, people with TMJ disorder are prone to grinding their teeth which can exacerbate these issues causing more tooth damage; remember, tooth damage isn’t always visible, so it is best to visit your dentist regularly for a checkup to assess if any tooth damage is occurring.
Neck and Shoulder Issues
Even though TMJ disorder is linked to your jaw joints, the pain won’t always occur in that area. In fact, it can occur in several other locations in the body. Many people experience issues in the shoulders and neck. TMJ disorder is also linked to pain in the temples. Some patients experience sinus problems and issues with their vision. The reason patients experience pain in areas located far from the jaw joint is because of the joint being situated close to all the nerves that connect these areas. Furthermore, the muscles in your face are closely linked to those in your neck and shoulders, so when the TMJ joint is in trouble, it has knock-on effects for the rest of the body.
TMJ disorder is a lot more common than people may think. Although you might dismiss your jaw joint as a relatively minor part of the body, TMJ disorder has the potential to cause severe pain all over your body. At the earliest indication of a problem, it is best to seek medical advice and the assistance of a dentist trained to deal with TMJ disorder. Catching the problem early can make a huge difference when it comes to managing the pain.