The temporomandibular joint acts as the hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. The joint is flexible, allowing movement of the jaw. This movement is controlled by muscles surrounding the joint.
Common symptoms of TMJ
Problems with any of these elements can cause a range of symptoms and some of them can be easily mistaken for other issues. That’s why it’s so important to consult a qualified dentist with experience in dealing with TMJ if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
The majority of patients who experience TMJ symptoms complain of headaches and Migraine headaches to be specific. Many also experience discomfort in the face. This discomfort can often be increased while eating, talking or generally moving the jaw.
The temporomandibular joint is just under the ear, so it is common to experience earache. This discomfort often manifests just in front of or below the ear. If the ear is checked and no infection or other cause is found, a check for TMJ is often useful.
Discomfort in muscles
An ache or discomfort in the muscles around the jaw, neck or shoulders can also be a symptom of TMJ. If no other causes of this can be identified and you experience other symptoms described here, it is worth consulting a dentist.
Tinnitus or ringing in the ear is another symptom of TMJ. While not painful, it can be irritating. This is another symptom that can indicate TMJ if no other cause if found. Occasionally, the ear may feel “full” for no reason. This can also be a symptom of TMJ.
Jaw locking or clicking
Experiencing jaw locking or clicking while you move it can be a symptom of TMJ if accompanied by discomfort. If the clicking is painless, it is likely not TMJ. However, if you’re not sure and you have experience it for a while, it’s worth consulting a dentist with experience in diagnosing the condition.
As you can see, many of the most common symptoms of TMJ can also be similar to other things. That’s one of the reasons why correctly diagnosing TMJ can be so problematic and why it’s so important to consult a dentist with experience diagnosing and treating temporomandibular joint disorder.
If you think you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder and would like a professional diagnosis, contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry today!
We service patients from Denville, Dover, Morristown, Morris Plains, Mountain Lakes, Randolph, Rockaway and all surrounding towns in NJ.