The temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw to your skull. However, it can be affected by a disorder, TMJ for short, that causes you serious pain; inhibits your speech, diet, and life; and can even lead to other oral health issues. But how do you know that the pain you’re feeling in your jaw is TMJ and not just a sign of fatigue or something else?
Life is Pain
First, you need to examine and assess the pain you are feeling. The symptom area with TMJ is much wider than one would expect. While the pain, swelling, or tenderness will often start in the face or jaw area, it can spread the the ear, neck, and even shoulders. This pain is also exacerbated by jaw movement, such as chewing, talking, or opening your mouth wide.
Pain resulting from TMJ can be found almost anywhere in the upper body, including:
Stiff and Stuck
Another common symptom of TMJ disorder is that your mouth might feel “stuck” in an specific position. It might be hard to open or close your mouth. If your face feels tired, that is a bad sign. It might also feel like your teeth do not fit together properly.
Snap, Crackle, and Pop
If your jaw is making a lot of noise when you move it, you are probably experiencing TMJ disorder to some level. These noises can range anywhere from a slight clicking to a constant grinding to a loud popping.
Can You Hear Me Now?
TMJ can not only cause serious earaches, but it can also cause associated problems like hearing loss (temporary or permanent), dizziness, and ringing in your ears. Because the jaw and the ear are so connected, TMJ disorder can mess up the function and inner balance of your ear.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please come see Dr. Solomon. He will be able to diagnose and treat your TMJ disorder. You don’t have to live in discomfort every day. We can help you.