Does your jaw hurt, feel tender, or click for no particular reason? You may have a temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder, a common ailment that the dental professionals at EZ Dental Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, can help you overcome.
What is TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joints, located on each side of your face, connect your jawbones to your skull and act like a hinge that moves your jaw during speaking and eating. If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, you have problems with these joints, your facial nerves, and the muscles controlling movement in your jaw. TMJ symptoms can result from alignment issues in your jaw, trauma, cartilage damage, or emotional stress.
Here are four symptoms that point to TMJ. If you have these symptoms, you should contact our team at EZ Dental Clinic for help.
1. Pain and dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints
Jaw pain and dysfunction are common symptoms that can happen in one or both TMJs. In fact, one in 10 Americans have TMJ pain.
Your jaw joints rely on a complex network of muscles to engage in fine movements like chewing and speaking. When these muscles become tired and tight, they can cause jaw joints to lock, which limits the jaw movement. In extreme cases, lockjaw might require a surgical intervention to reopen and realign your jaw joints.
Jaw problems also can include joint popping or clicking when you open or close your mouth. Sometimes, your teeth will ache.
2. Generalized pain and discomfort elsewhere
TMJ pain and spasms don’t limit themselves to your jaw. TMJ pain can plague your neck, face, and shoulders, too. You can also have pain, popping, or ringing sounds in your ears, which can trigger dizziness and vertigo.
The ligament, tendon, and muscle issues that result from TMJ dysfunction can cause chronic headaches. In fact, many men and women have headaches that are caused by TMJ disorders.
TMJ-related headaches can feel like a common tension headache and affect one or more areas of your head or face.
4. Tooth trauma
If you grind your teeth and chronically clench your jaws, you’ve got a good chance of developing a TMJ disorder. Grinding and clenching can also cause structural damage to your teeth. Sensitive, worn, loose, or broken teeth not only can be a sign of a TMJ disorder, but they can also cause or worsen the problem.
If you think you suffer from a TMJ disorder or want to learn more about the condition, schedule an appointment at EZ Dental Clinic by calling 425-746-6090, or by using our online scheduling tool.