TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint and is a condition that impacts the joint that serves as a hinge of sorts between the temporal bone and the lower jaw. This joint is known as the temporomandibular joint. You can find this joint by positioning your fingers along your face a quarter-inch from the ear while opening your jaw. You will notice the joint moves as you open your jaw.
Here is a look at the most common symptoms of TMJ as well as some additional signs that often go unnoticed. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with your dentist as soon as possible for assistance in treating your TMJ.
The Most Common TMJ Symptoms
If you notice a clicking or popping sound as you open or close your mouth, you likely have TMJ. This sound might not be egregiously loud. Open and close your jaw in a quiet space as you listen closely to determine if the clicking or popping sound occurs. Aside from popping and clicking sounds, a jaw that produces grinding noises when talking, eating or opening is another sign of TMJ.
However, this is not to say all sounds produced by jaw movement are a TMJ symptom. The truth is jaw noises are fairly common amongst people of all ages. It does not matter if you have a unique face shape or body type. Your jaw will likely generate some noise at one point or another. The key is to discern between these regular noises and those that indicate TMJ. Listen closely to determine if the noises occur when you feel pain or have minimal jaw movement. If so, you likely have TMJ.
Another common sign of a TMJ disorder is a ringing, buzzing or numbness produced in the ears. If your jaw locks or feels somewhat stuck while you yawn or open your mouth, you likely have TMJ. Even a migraine headache, pain behind the eyes or an earache can indicate TMJ.
Additional Signs of TMJ
The signs detailed above are some of the more common symptoms of TMJ yet they are not the only symptoms. If you feel even slight tenderness in your jaw muscles or experience a sudden change in the manner in which your upper and lower teeth fit together, you might have TMJ.
Even a slight restriction in jaw movement is a sign of TMJ. Minimal movement in response to the considerable effort will stop the mouth from opening to the fullest extent and the jaw will not move in the intended direction. The result could end up being considerable discomfort that lasts from morning to evening.
How to Proceed if You Suspect You Have TMJ
If you notice any of the symptoms detailed above, do not assume you have TMJ. Meet with your dentist for a professional analysis. The dentist will explain self-care options, lifestyle alterations and professional treatments available to help relieve the symptoms and minimize the impact of your TMJ. If your symptoms bother you and you cannot visit the dentist in a reasonable amount of time, apply ice or moist heat to your jaw to numb the discomfort.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Marietta Roswell Dental Care, request an appointment in our Roswell dental office here: https://www.mariettaroswelldentist.com. Or call us at (770) 993-2657.