TMJ Disorder: Know the Symptoms
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. When the sliding hinge does not function properly, a potentially painful condition called TMJ disorder can develop.
If you experience jaw pain or other symptoms related to TMJ disorder, our dentist, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky, can determine what is causing your TMJ disorder symptoms. Often, the condition arises from poor jaw alignment due to malocclusion. To help our Edmonton, AB, patients better understand common symptoms of this condition, we offer this overview.
What Are Some Common Signs of TMJ Disorder?
The TMJs are a complex network of bone, muscle, and connective tissue. Due to the complexity of the joint, there can be multiple potential causes of the condition and numerous potential symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms involve discomfort and pain.
If the sides of your face hurt when you open your mouth, you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ. Some people notice that their discomfort increases the wider their jaw opens. Not all TMJ-related pain results from moving the jaw. Some people wake up with jaw pain or they experience jaw pain even when their mouth is closed.
Many people who suffer from TMJ disorder also grind their teeth at night. Bruxism can even be the cause of TMJ symptoms. If your teeth hurt in the morning, you may have undiagnosed bruxism. Other signs of bruxism include chipped, cracked, or worn teeth. Dr. Podilsky can look for signs of worn teeth during your exam and check-up at our Edmonton, AB, dental practice.
Headaches, Earaches, and Widespread Pain
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can often manifest in nearby structures. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder that don’t involve dental problems include headaches, earaches, eye pain, and neck or shoulder pain. If you suffer from frequent headaches or earaches, a routine checkup at our dental practice can determine if your discomfort is jaw-related.
TMJ disorder can lead to a wide range of potential symptoms. Other potential symptoms include:
- Clicking sounds when opening the jaw
- Sensation of the jaw locking at times
- Trouble eating certain foods
- Difficulty sleeping
If I Have Symptoms of TMJ Disorder, What Should I Do?
Symptoms of TMJ disorder should be taken seriously. The progressive condition will likely worsen with time and potentially require corrective jaw surgery. To prevent the need for surgery, schedule an exam at our Edmonton, AB, dental practice.
Unaddressed dental problems, such as misalignment, a poorly fitting crown, or bruxism, are often the cause of TMJ-related pain. By catching the condition in its earliest stages, you can most likely enjoy relief from pain through non-invasive treatments. Many people do not realize that they suffer from TMJ disorder until a dentist identifies the problem during an exam. This is one reason why we recommend twice-a-year visits for cleanings and exams at our office.
Schedule a Visit for Your TMJ Symptoms
If you wake up with mild to moderate jaw pain, you should take those symptoms seriously. Untreated TMJ problems can wear down the jaw joints and require corrective surgery. To prevent irreversible damage to your TMJs, schedule your next visit to our office online or by calling (780) 428-6846. Once you have told Dr. Podilsky about your symptoms, your treatments can begin immediately.