TMJ is a painful condition endured by millions of people every year. If you are experiencing intense jaw pain with no relief in sight, you may be suffering from TMJ. If left untreated, TMJ can cause a variety of serious issues, including tinnitus, loss of balance, and vision problems. Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of TMJ and how to know if it’s time to visit a dentist for treatment.
1- Frequent Earaches
If you’re starting to experience earaches when you’ve never been prone to them in the past, you may be dealing with a TMJ disorder. Inflammation in these joints can cause earaches due to their proximity to the ears. If you visit the doctor for an earache but they do not see any noticeable signs of infection upon examination, it may be TMJ that you’re dealing with.
2- Popping or Clicking Sounds When Yawning
Clicking sounds when you’re yawning isn’t normal, and could be a sign that your jaw is inflamed. If you experience these sounds often and pain usually accompanies them, you may need to speak with a dentist.
3- Intense Headaches
Because this condition involves the small hinged joint that allows your jaw to open and close, you may be experiencing intense pain along the temples or the sides of your head. Some people may even mistake this pain for migraines before finally being diagnosed with TMJ.
4- Pain or Discomfort Along the Jawline
Those who experience TMJ often grind their teeth at night or clench their jaw often. People under stress often deal with these symptoms, but on a temporary basis. If you often wake up and experience intense pain along your jawline, this could be a sign that something more serious is at play.
5- Jaw Locks in the Open or Closed Position
A locked jaw is always a serious sign of concern that something is wrong. If you are unable to fully open or close your jaw for a considerable amount of time, you may need to get assessed for TMJ.
6- Muscle Tension or Pain Along the Shoulders or Neck
Many people falsely believe that TMJ just causes bothersome symptoms within the face and jawline. However, muscle pain and tension along the shoulders and within the neck are often present with this type of disorder. A little-known fact about TMJ is that many cases are actually exacerbated by posture issues. These posture issues can also cause muscle tension and shoulder pain.
7- Other Types of Pain Within the Face
Some people who are eventually diagnosed with TMJ experience pain within other areas of the face, such as along the cheekbones, under the eyes, and along the jaw. Some people deal with increased muscle tension that exacerbates these symptoms.
8- Tooth Pain or Cracked and Chipped Teeth
Tooth pain and cracked or chipped teeth are often highly correlated with grinding your teeth at night. Teeth grinding is also associated with TMJ. If you have unrelenting tooth pain and you’re unable to get relief, schedule an appointment with your dentist and get a professional assessment done. You may be dealing with a more serious issue at hand.