Symptoms of TMJ

symptoms of tmj devineServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Temporomandibular joint disorder, which commonly is abbreviated as TMJ in the medical world, refers to any ailment that occurs when an imbalance in your jaw begins to have adverse effects throughout your body. As a case of TMJ progresses, it can affect your jaw, teeth, and mouth. Left untreated, TMJ even can begin to affect your neck, shoulders, and spine.

TMJ is a complicated disorder. Many people that have TMJ may experience widely different symptoms.

Frequently reported symptoms of TMJ include the following:

  • Pain in the jaws or jaw joints
  • Hearing a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your jaw
  • Locked jaw, or limited range of motion in the jaw
  • Problems chewing
  • Teeth grinding, which also is referred to as bruxism
  • Pain in the teeth, especially pain that “migrates” to different locations in the mouth
  • Teeth that are loose, worn, chipped and cracked
  • Painful headaches that occur on a regular basis, including migraines or headaches of migraine-like intensity
  • Pain or pressure that originates behind or below one eye
  • Pain or tension in the face
  • Stuffiness, congestion or ringing in the ears
  • Pain or tension in the neck
  • Pain in the shoulders and/or back
  • Numbness, tingling, and/or loss of sensation in the extremities
  • Misaligned bite
  • Poor posture
  • Earaches
  • Vertigo and/or dizziness

These symptoms may occur all over your body and, often, TMJ symptoms are attributed as being caused by other conditions. Many cases of TMJ are misdiagnosed as a result.

Pain is the most frequently reported symptom of TMJ. This pain often can be of a debilitating nature, meaning it is so severe that it impedes your ability to function. Pain occurs so often in cases of TMJ because of the proximity of the temporomandibular joint to the trigeminal nerve, which sends more sensory input to the brain than any other neural pathway in your entire body.

How do I know if I have TMJ?

If you have any combination of the symptoms listed above, you should consider making an appointment with a neuromuscular dentist at your earliest convenience to be evaluated to see if you suffer from TMJ. Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialization of dental science that focuses on the alignment of the bite and jaw. No other medical professional is better qualified to diagnose and treat a case of TMJ than a neuromuscular dentist.

Click here to learn more about why you should see a neuromuscular dentist.

TMJ can affect any individual, although past data shows that women are more likely than men to suffer from the ailment. Also, TMJ occurs most often with people who are between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.

If you have TMJ, then any symptoms resulting from the disorder will not be resolved until the true cause—TMJ—is detected and properly treated. If you have TMJ, professional diagnosis and treatment is the only way to resolve the issue. Otherwise, the disorder only will get worse.

At Devine Dentistry, we can treat TMJ and its symptoms through our own program of neuromuscular dentistry. Dr. Devine will evaluate your bite and jaw to detect if TMJ exists, and then provide treatment through any one of a variety of methods.

Click here to learn more about our treatment program for TMJ.

If you would like to schedule a consultation for a TMJ evaluation, contact the office of Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209.

Devine Dentistry is proud to serve patients living in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills and Nashville in Tennessee.