WHAT IS TMJ?
TMJ disorders are complications associated with the temporomandibular joint where the jaw and skull come together. This joint, although small, can cause chronic pain and symptoms that make performing everyday tasks quite painful or difficult.
TMJ disorders can occur at any point in life but are most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 years old and are more common in women than men. The symptoms of TMJ disorders are different from patient to patient with some reporting pain that comes and goes and others describing symptoms that persist chronically for many years.
Signs and Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
Only your dentist can diagnose a TMJ disorder, but there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate the need to visit your doctor.
- Your jaw ‘pops’ in and out of place.
- Your jaw gets stuck in certain positions.
- You cannot open your mouth very wide.
- You hear grating or popping sounds when chewing your food or speaking.
- You experience swelling in one or both sides of your face.
- You have pain in your face, neck, or shoulders when speaking, eating, or opening your mouth.
- You have chronic headaches or upper shoulder pain.
- You frequently experience dizziness.
- You have problems with your ears such as earaches, ringing, or difficulty hearing.