Your temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull on either side of your head. When an imbalance or malfunction in the jaw occurs, over time, it causes adverse effects throughout your body, starting with what is referred to as TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. These adverse effects can be so wide-ranging that the symptoms of TMJ can be incredibly diverse.
One of the most common symptoms shared by TMJ patients, however, is pain. This pain usually is significant and can be intense and even debilitating—impeding the ability to work, go to school, and perform daily tasks. Patients with TMJ disorder suffer intense pain so frequently because the temporomandibular joint is near the trigeminal nerve, which sends more sensory information to the brain than any other neural pathway in the body. Since they are located so close to one another, the trigeminal nerve often is aggravated or compressed when the temporomandibular joint develops a problem.
Where can you feel pain from TMJ disorder? The answer might surprise you.
This pain often manifests in the jaw or jaw joints. However, if a case of TMJ disorder goes undiagnosed for an extended period of time, the pain can develop in other areas, including the face, teeth, and even the neck, shoulders, and back. Compression of the muscles and nerves in the neck and back might cause tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in your extremities, like your arms, hands, or fingers. The pain also can lead to severe headaches that mimic migraine symptoms.
As mentioned above, individuals with TMJ disorder can have varying symptoms, but some of the most frequent symptoms reported by patients include the following:
- Hearing a clicking or popping sound whenever the jaw opens and closes
- Limited range of motion in the jaw, including lockjaw
- Problems or difficulty chewing
- Teeth grinding or clenching, also referred to as bruxism, mostly occurs at night, although daytime bruxism may happen too
- Tooth pain that appears to migrate to various locations in the mouth
- Loose, worn, cracked, or chipped teeth
- Pressure or pain located behind or below one eye
- Pain or tension in the face
- Congestion in the ears or ringing in the ears, which is also referred to as tinnitus
- Dizziness and/or vertigo
- Malocclusion, also referred to as a misaligned bite
- Problems with posture
Do I have TMJ disorder?
This affliction can affect people of various ages and lifestyles. However, the disorder is more prevalent among women than men. Individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 also are more likely to develop TMJ disorder.
Are you experiencing symptoms associated with TMD? If so, then a neuromuscular dentist is the best-qualified medical professional to provide a diagnosis. A specialty of dental science that focuses on the alignment of the bite and jaw, neuromuscular dentistry involves extensive post-graduate training and continuing education to make the proper diagnosis while using state-of-the-art technology. Neuromuscular dentists possess the training and experience to diagnose TMJ and differentiate it from other ailments with common symptoms, such as migraines.
Non-invasive TMJ treatment in Kingston, Tennessee
TMJ disorder does not have to rule your life, and you shouldn’t have to rely on pain medication to relieve your symptoms. At LakeView, we use sophisticated technology to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder without prescribing medication long-term. To learn more about TMJ disorder or to schedule a consultation with LakeView Dental Arts, call our office today at (865) 248-2199 to schedule your initial consultation and begin the road to relief from your TMJ disorder.