Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder affects one of the most frequently used joints in the body. If it becomes inflamed or malfunctions, it can impact many of your everyday activities, including speaking and eating.
In this post, the team at Ingber Dental discusses some of the signs that suggest a problem with the TMJ. By being aware of these symptoms and seeing a doctor if you experience them, you can avoid having your life altered by TMJ disorder.
Jaw Popping or Clicking
One of the earliest indications of a problem with the TMJ is a clicking or popping sensation or noise in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth. The joint is meant to work smoothly, so clicking or popping suggests there is a problem interfering with its normal function.
Occasional discomfort in the chewing muscles or jaw joint is common, but TMJ disorders can cause persistent pain or tenderness in the jaw that ranges from mild to debilitating. This pain can occur when chewing, and it may radiate from the jaw to the ears and surrounding areas of the face.
Recurring Headaches in the Mornings
Another sign of TMJ problems is headaches that occur consistently, often when waking up in the morning. The headache may seem to be concentrated near the ears or above the eyes.
Ringing or Buzzing in the Ears
Speaking of the ears, other ear-related symptoms may suggest a problem with the TMJ. For example, a ringing or buzzing in the ears, a loss of hearing, dizziness or loss of balance have all been linked to cases of TMJ disorder.
Other Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Other symptoms can include:
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
- Facial swelling
- “Locked jaw” sensation
- Sensitive teeth that cannot be attributed to other causes
How We Can Help
If you are exhibiting one or more of the aforementioned signs of TMJ disorder, you should not dismiss or ignore them. Instead, you should consult with the team at Ingber Dental, which has experience in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ problems.
If, based on the results of a series of tests we will perform, we determine that you have TMJ disorder, we can educate you on exactly what is causing your pain and discomfort. Together, we can develop a plan of treatment to help relieve pain and improve the function of your TMJ. That could include wearing a dental appliance to help improve your bite and align your jaw, undergoing orthodontic treatment or exploring other options.
Please contact our D.C. office to request an appointment with our experienced dental team by calling (202) 331-7474.