When most people think about TMJ disorder, they think of 3 particular symptoms: popping, clicking, and jaw pain. What many people don’t realize is that you can have TMJ disorder without any of those symptoms.
Common TMJ Disorder Symptoms
The human body works as one system, which means, when one part is out-of-balance, it can cause a range of unexpected symptoms throughout the body. When it comes to the temporomandibular joints, this is certainly true. While these small joints are located where your lower jaw attaches to the rest of your skull, dysfunction in the TMJ can cause pain from your head to your fingertips.
- Jaw Pain: The pain you experience could be sudden, and sharp, like when you open your mouth wide to yawn. But it could also be a persistent aching feeling. If you notice it is worse in the morning, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep.
- Headaches: The headaches associated with TMJ disorder can range from your typical aching pain to debilitating migraines and tension headaches caused by tight muscles throughout the face, jaw, neck and shoulders. Your headache doesn’t necessary need to be located near the temples to be caused by the TMJ.
- Tooth Pain and Damage: Many times, TMJ disorder is caused by nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which leads to dental pain. Grinding your teeth wears away the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity. The stress of these habits also can cause chips and tooth fractures.
- Facial Pain: It is quite common to experience facial pain, particularly around the temples, behind the eyes, around the ears, or where your neck and jaw meet. These areas can be tender to the touch. Earaches and feeling of fullness are common with TMJ issues because the temporomandibular joints are located near the ear canals. So, when the joint is inflamed and sore, and can cause symptoms in the ears.
- Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: Tension in the jaw often leads to tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. These symptoms are common with TMJ disorder and can actually be more noticeable then the pain and discomfort they are feeling in their jaws, causing them to be misdiagnosed. Addressing TMJ disorder may finally be what they need to experience relief from chronic pain.
Schedule an appointment at Hough Orthodontics
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have TMJ disorder. Cal Dr. Hough’s office today for a complimentary Exam and Consultation at 636.391.1959.