Closeup of a blue gloved hand pointing to a model skull's temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull

Signs You May Have TMJ Dysfunction

December 1, 2022 12:05 am
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If you have mild to severe pain in your jaw, there’s a chance you may have TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge between your lower jaw (the mandible) and the temporal bone of your skull. You can locate it by placing one or two finger in front of your ears while opening your jaw. You can feel the joint move when you open your jaw.

There could be a few causes of TMJ dysfunction, like injury, stress, arthritis, chronic teeth grinding, and infection. It’s best to visit your dentist to properly diagnose it and receive treatment.

If you suspect you have TMJ issues but aren’t sure, here are three signs to look out for:

  1. Clicking & Popping Noises
  2. Not everyone has the same symptoms but clicking or popping noises in the jaw is a common sign that you might have TMJ disorder. You may be able to feel the snapping with and without your fingers. The sounds can be subtle or loud.

  3. Pain That Radiates Around the Jaw
  4. When you have TMD, there is increased inflammation in the area that could cause muscle spasms to radiate pain down to your neck and shoulders. The inflammation can also irritate nerves that could cause ringing in your ears and even hearing loss. It can also strike migraines or headaches. If you’re experiencing pain in your jaw and in other areas as well, you should have your symptoms checked out by a dentist.

  5. Malocclusion of the Teeth
  6. Your teeth have a natural tendency to shift in your jawbone. Often when your upper and lower teeth are misaligned, it can cause stiffness and tenderness in your jaw because your jaw is doing more work to bring your teeth together while you chew, speak, and swallow. If you have crowded teeth, an overbite, or underbite, this could potentially be the cause of the pain in your jaw and a sign of TMJ dysfunction.

Treatment for TMJ Dysfunction

Having TMD can be a very painful experience. Thankfully, treatments are readily available! These can range from at-home practices to injections to surgery. At River City Dental, we’re committed to providing a personalized treatment for you. Learn more about our TMJ therapy here. Our friendly team would be happy to assist you in booking a consultation.