The temporomandibular joint is also known as TMJ. This joint is like a hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull—it is responsible for controlling jaw movement. A TMJ disorder (also referred to as TMD) can create pain and tension in the jaw. This tension can spread throughout the head and cause severe pain.
Most of the time, TMJ pain is temporary and can be relieved with medication and therapy. If you are experiencing trouble moving your jaw, you may want to seek medical help from professionals.
1. Joint Locking or Popping
One of the first signs of TMJ is the joint in your jaw locking or popping. Locking and popping can also lead to a sore jaw. You may also experience limited jaw movement or stiff jaw muscles.
2. Having Trouble Chewing
Because TMJ pain so connected to the jaw and chewing, it can become difficult to open and close your mouth. TMJ patients often have trouble chewing food. Your jaw may be getting tired easily or seem a little off when you chew. You may also be experiencing sensitive teeth without any other dental problems that could be causing the sensitivity.
3. Jaw Pain
TMJ can lead to severe jaw pain. You may be experiencing a sore jaw, inflamed tissue, or more sudden and severe pain. Taking over the counter anti-inflammatories can help to soothe the pain. Icing the source of the pain can also be beneficial. TMJ can also make your jaw align differently, you may notice your teeth moving and changing your bite.
4. Sinus Symptoms
TMJ can lead to a stuffy or congested nose. You may feel pressure in your forehead, along your brow, and in your nose. This could lead to a migraine that feels similar to a sinus headache. Symptoms may also worsen when you lay down and lean forward.
5. Tension Headaches
The tension and pain that comes along with TMJ disorder can lead to some tough tension headaches. With a locked jaw or just tension in the jaw, that discomfort can easily lead to headaches and even earaches.
6. Causes of TMJ
It’s not always possible to determine the exact cause of TMJ, but there are some common causes. An injury or trauma that has impacted the jaw, teeth or jaw alignment can lead to TMJ. Other causes include teeth grinding, jaw clenching, arthritis, disc erosion, and dislocation of a disk.
7. How is TMJ Diagnosed?
If you think you may be exhibiting signs of TMJ disorder, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Our team of professional doctors can determine if you are experiencing TMJ pain. After diagnoses, there are plenty of courses of action for treatment. Get relief from the tension and pain you may be experiencing with some simple treatment and medication. There are multiple medication and therapies that can help. Along with that, there are also some surgical procedure options that can treat TMJ.