Symptoms of TMJ

Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

The temporomandibular joint is a small, round joint connecting your jaw to your skull. Despite its small size, the temporomandibular joint could cause significant problems throughout your body. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this ailment affects millions of Americans. TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville want you to understand the symptoms of TMJ disorder and how our physiological dentist, Dr. Brian Devine, can help.

TMJ Disorder—A Diagnostic Challenge

symptoms of tmj

Correctly identifying a case of TMJ disorder can be difficult because of the wide range of symptoms. Two people who both have the disorder may have entirely separate sets of symptoms. One commonality from patient to patient, however, is experiencing pain—usually severe or even debilitating, meaning it hinders their ability to function daily.

Pain and TMJ disorder go hand in hand because of the location of the temporomandibular joint. If you have TMJ disorder, it quickly impacts the adjacent nerves, joints, and muscles. The temporomandibular joint is close to the trigeminal nerve, which is a neural pathway that sends a significant amount of sensory information to the brain. In cases of TMJ disorder, the trigeminal nerve often becomes aggravated or compressed, sending signals of pain to the head and neck. However, actual pain could manifest in a variety of different locations, including the neck, back, and extremities.

Where does TMJ disorder cause pain?

Since TMJ disorder affects the jaws, facial and dental pains are common symptoms. This ailment may provoke pain in the face, mouth, or teeth—especially if the pain seems to migrate randomly from one tooth to another. You also might feel pain from TMJ disorder in your neck, shoulders, and back. It even can cause earaches, tinnitus, or the feeling that your ear is full.

TMJ disorder also is known for causing chronic, painful headaches. Because of their frequency and severity, these headaches often get misidentified as migraines. If you have headaches caused by TMJ disorder, even the most powerful migraine remedies will do nothing to manage how often they happen. Click here to learn more about the differences between migraines and TMJ headaches.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:

  • Detecting a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing your jaws
  • Experiencing a locked jaw or limited range of motion in the jaw
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which also is known as bruxism
  • Enhanced tooth sensitivity
  • Pressure or stuffiness in the ears
  • Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus
  • Uneven tooth wear
  • Teeth that are chipped, cracked, loose or start to shift
  • Speech abnormalities
  • Feeling pressure or pain emanating from behind or below one eye
  • Facial tension
  • Experiencing tingling, a lack of sensation or numbness in the extremities
  • Postural changes or poor posture
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Digestive problems
  • Trouble sleeping

TMJ Treatment in Nashville

It takes special training to diagnose and provide proper treatment for TMJ disorder. Dr. Brian Devine is the lead physiological dentist at our Nashville dental office. He has studied the relationship between the bite and jaw through rigorous post-graduate education and training. Dr. Devine uses a non-surgical approach to treating TMJ disorder by properly aligning the bite and alleviating stress on the jaw joints.

Do you still have questions about TMJ disorder? To learn more, call the office of TMJ and Airway Associates in Nashville at (615) 329-1854 to schedule a consultation and find relief for TMJ disorder today.

TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville are here to serve patients in Middle Tennessee, including Belle Meade and Green Hills.

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