10 Facts About TMJ

1. Pain around your ear can be a sign of TMJ.

Most people associated Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain with jaw pain—which is a common symptom, but other pain can also be an indicator. TMJ can also cause pain in and around the ears and head. It can cause ringing in the ears and even hearing loss. 

2. It can make it difficult to open your mouth. 

TMJ can cause your jaw to lock. The hinge that allows you to open and close your jaw can be clench. This can be very painful. If this occurs, see a doctor. 

3. It can be caused by arthritis.

TMJ disorder is a form of arthritis. It could be caused by infectious arthritis, traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, or other types. 

4. A clicking jaw is a common sign.

A jaw popping or clicking when it is opened or closed is a common sign of TMJ. The joints that connect your jawbone to your skull can cease to work correctly, leading to popping and clicking. This sensation is often accompanied by pain. 

5. A jaw injury or misaligned teeth can lead to TMJ.

If an injury causes your jaw to misalign, it can turn into TMJ pain. The same goes for misaligned teeth—crooked teeth can cause your teeth and, therefore, your jaw to become misaligned, leading to TMJ pain. 

6. It can make your teeth sensitive. 

TMJ can change your bite, which may cause your teeth to be more sensitive to hot and cold. If you are noticing an increased sensitivity but no other dental issues or symptoms, it could be due to TMJ. 

7. TMJ is short for temporomandibular disorder.

Though it is usually referred to as TMJ, the scientific name for the disorder is temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The temporomandibular is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, and when there is an issue with it—that can lead to TMJ pain. 

8. It can be treated. 

There isn’t necessarily a cure for TMJ pain, but there are plenty of treatments. Not all TMJ pain is created equally, and the same goes for treatments. Whether you need to change certain habits, go through some physical therapy, get some help with medication, or possibly have surgery will depend on your case of TMJ. 

9. Nail-biting has been linked to TMJ.

Biting your nails is a bad habit for many reasons, including TMJ pain. Because nail biting is a repetitive movement, consistently doing it over time can lead to TMJ issues. It is also a very painful habit to have when you are dealing with TMJ pain. 

10. TMJ is an umbrella term. 

TMJ is a term used for jaw, head, and ear pain that may be caused by multiple sources. Some instances of TMJ may be very different than others. 

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah for relief.