TMJ has been described as a “great imposter” because it is often confused with other medical conditions. The symptoms of TMJ can center on your jaw and nearby systems, but they can also have wide-ranging effects on the body. Jaw pain, headaches, and ear symptoms like ringing, stuffiness, or pain in the ears are all common, but your neck, back, and other areas may be affected, too.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, please contact Woodlands Premier Dentistry or call (281) 367-5559 today to schedule a neuromuscular evaluation with Dr. Scott Young. Dr. Young offers TMJ diagnosis and treatments to people living in and around Houston, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Spring, and Conroe, Texas.
TMJ Symptoms in the Jaw
Many of the symptoms of TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder, occur in and around the jaw. These include:
- Clicking or popping noises when opening or shutting the jaw
- Grinding noises when chewing
- Pain and/or swelling around the jaw joint
- Pain or soreness in the jaw muscles
- Lockjaw or limited jaw mobility
Most people with TMJ experience jaw-related symptoms, but many people ignore minor jaw symptoms such as discomfort or popping and clicking. Then these symptoms may go away as the effects of TMJ spread or change. You may not link your previous jaw symptoms with current non-jaw symptoms.
Symptoms beyond the Jaw
While TMJ is often diagnosed following symptoms in and around the jaw, many of the symptoms of this common disorder occur outside of the jaw, allowing it to frequently go undiagnosed. These symptoms include:
- Chronic headaches
- General facial pain
- Neck and backaches
- Ear ringing or pain without the presence of infection
- Pressure behind the eyes
Many people have difficulty accepting that TMJ can cause such a wide range of symptoms. There are several mechanism that link jaw dysfunction with these symptoms. TMJ can be linked to chronic headaches through muscle tension, leading to tension headaches, or adverse pressure on nerves, which can lead to pain in the head and face, and potentially even trigger migraines.
Pain in the neck and back result from the partnership between jaw muscles and muscles in the neck and back. When jaw muscles are forced to work harder, they can pass their strain onto these partner muscles.
Ear symptoms can result from pressure on the temporomandibular joint. The delicate systems of the inner ear are housed in the temporal bone, and may be affected by pressure on the joint. Muscles and tendons link the jaw to the ear, so jaw dysfunction can be translated into ear dysfunction. Nausea and dizziness are related to ear problems, and may be attributed to vertigo.
Facial pain and pressure behind the eyes can be related to the fact that jaw muscles actually stretch from the bottom of the jaw to the sides of the skull behind the eyes, and they interact with all the branches of the trigeminal nerve, which conveys pain and other sensations from the entire facial region.
If you experience any TMJ symptoms, a neuromuscular dentistry evaluation from Dr. Young can determine if TMJ is present. If TMJ is causing your symptoms, Dr. Young can customize a treatment option that produces long-term comfort by addressing the underlying problem.
A Real Solution
Too often, people choose to treat the symptoms of TMJ with medications that can be both addictive and physically dangerous. What’s more, these medications may dull the pain, but they cannot correct the actual problem, making them temporary at best.
The only way to find long-lasting relief from TMJ symptoms is with the help of a highly trained and experienced neuromuscular dentist. Dr. Young received his training in this dental specialty at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and applies his years of experience to ensuring each of our patients gets the most effective treatment available.
If you are suffering from any of the TMJ symptoms in or around Houston, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Spring, or Conroe, Texas, please call (281) 367-5559 or contact Woodlands Premier Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Scott Young.