TMJ disorder, which is a dysfunction in your jaw joints, isn’t as common as concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease. However, it is a concern, and for patients who have it, it’s a significant one for many different reasons. Your TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, are the hinges that allow your lower jaw to move properly as you bite, chew, speak, etc. When a disorder forms, it means one or both of these joints are no longer able to function the way they’re supposed to. The symptoms of TMJ disorder are many, and can vary greatly from patient to patient. However, the following are some of the more common signs that could warn you have TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder is primarily a jaw dysfunction, so naturally, some of the most common symptoms involve the health and function of your jaw. For example, when you notice that your jaw pops and clicks when you open and close your mouth, you’re noticing your jaw joints shifting as your bite opens and closes. This is often due to an imbalance between the joints, and the popping sensation is that of your TMJ shifting to accommodate the uneven movement of your jaw.
Your jaw can suffer several forms of discomfort when you have TMJ disorder, but the pain and discomfort of the condition doesn’t always stay centered on your jaw joints. For example, your TMJs can aggravate several dominant nerves close to them when the joints don’t operate properly. This aggravation can lead to symptoms far away from your oral health, including the chronic recurrence of headaches and migraines. The only way to relieve the headaches and stop them from returning will be to treat your TMJ disorder and alleviate the pressure the joints are placing on your cranial nerves.
Tinnitus, or pain and ringing in your ears, seems like one of the least oral health-related conditions of TMJ disorder, but it isn’t as far removed as you might think. The same TMJs, jaw muscles, and structures that support your bite movement are extremely close to your canal and its structures. Disturbances in your jaw and the resulting discomfort can often translate into symptoms of tinnitus, which may seem random until you realize it’s because you have TMJ disorder.
Having TMJ disorder might not be obvious to you at first, but if you start to experiencing these or other symptoms, then it might be the reason why. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.