7 Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder that Should Not be Ignored

7 signs and symptoms of TMJ

If you’ve ever wondered what the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder are, this article is for you. 

We all have two temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on each side of our jaw. These joints allow us to open and close our mouths. Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak or chew. These joints get a lot of work (especially if you’re a chatterbox), so it’s not surprising that they get tender sometimes. However, sometimes this soreness can be a sign of a more serious condition known as TMJ disorder. 

Luckily, at Dental on York, we have Dr Andrew Lee who is an expert in TMJ disorder! Dr Lee has dedicated many years to research, education and treatment of the disorder. In this article, we discuss the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder to watch out for. 

7 signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder

Millions of people experience signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder, but this doesn’t mean they all have the condition. Some of the symptoms can be normal to experience from time to time. Let’s discuss seven of the symptoms that you should not ignore:

Clicking or popping

It is ok to hear clicking and popping in your jaw every now and then, so if you’ve heard the odd sound coming from your jaw – don’t panic.. If you grind your teeth and clench your jaw, it can be quite normal. It only becomes a problem when it is consistent and painful. Sometimes it can also lead to limited movement in the jaw. If this is the case, then you should contact a dentist to discuss treatment options. 

Pain with jaw movement

If you are experiencing pain in your jaw when you talk or eat, this may be a sign or symptom of TMJ disorder. If the pain is only mild, you may be able to manage it yourself. It’s still best to speak to a dentist first so that they can make a diagnosis. 

Difficulty chewing

People with TMJ disorder often describe a grinding or grating sensation when chewing. They may also find it difficult to chew because their jaw locks from time to time. If you experience this then it may be a sign of TMJ disorder. 

Facial swelling

One of the less common signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder is facial  swelling, in your cheeks, along your jawline and down your neck. If the swelling is persistent, it is important to see your dentist. This is because swelling can also be a sign of infection, so it’s best to get a dental professional to take a look as soon as possible. 

Tension headaches

Do you find yourself getting constant migraine or tension headaches? There are many causes of this, and one is TMJ disorder. TMJ headaches are usually accompanied by stiffness in the neck and jaw

Ear ringing and ear pressure

The TMJ joints sit adjacent to your ears, so you will often feel signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder in or around your ears. It can feel like pressure or a clogged ear. You may also experience ringing and pain. This can be very frustrating when it becomes persistent. People may pass this off as an ear infection, but it is best to have it examined to figure out the exact cause.

Tooth cracking

Grinding and clenching are two of the biggest causes of TMJ disorder. Unfortunately, both are often done while asleep or subconsciously. You may not even realise you are doing it. If you notice your teeth look worn or have fine cracks appearing, it could be a sign of the disorder. It’s best to seek dental care straight away so that you can begin treatment. Cracks and chips in your teeth can worsen over time and cause serious damage. 

What should I do if I notice signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder?

First of all, don’t panic. We’ve probably all felt one or two of these symptoms at times. The key is to monitor them.  If they start being persistent then you should seek the advice of a medical professional. Dentists can diagnose and treat TMJ disorder. 

Get TMJ treatment at Dental on York

If you’ve noticed some of the signs and symptoms of TMJ, rest assured knowing that at Dental on York, we have one of Sydney’s leading TMJ experts. We are dedicated to helping patients with TMJ disorder by offering personalised treatment plans. If you are suffering from any of the above signs and symptoms, then give us a call. 

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