Five Signs That You Might Have TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a sliding hinge in your jaw. It connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders result in pain in both the joint itself as well as in the muscles that control jaw movement. It’s estimated that nearly 10 million people suffer from TMJ disorders, so it’s important to know the symptoms that accompany it.
- Pulsing pain
The first major symptom of a TMJ disorder is pulsing pain throughout your face. This pain usually starts at the jaw and spreads from there, with a range in pain level depending on how severely the joint is damaged. The pain could even cause pulsing headaches for some. For others, it reaches across their jawline.
- Difficulty chewing
Another sign of a TMJ disorder is difficulty chewing, whether constant or intermittent. There are times when you may be able to chew with no problem, but pain and discomfort might suddenly hit and prevent you from eating as normal. During these times, you may have to resort to soft foods that don’t require much chewing until the pain subsides.
If you’ve ever woken up to find that your jaw appears to be “locked,” you’re experiencing lockjaw, another symptom of a TMJ disorder. The jaw can become “locked” or stuck with an open or closed mouth, and in many cases, the jaw will ease up over time. But if this problem occurs regularly, you may want to get it checked out.
Feeling any kind of tenderness in the face that stems from no discernible cause is another symptom of TMJ disorder but is also a sign of other issues. Pay attention to your body to note feeling anything out of the ordinary, especially around the face
- Teeth trouble
TMJ disorder can cause the upper and lower teeth to fit together differently, so if you notice any changes in your bite, it could be another sign. If your jaw is affected and the jaw joints are damaged, it could result in trouble closing your mouth.
If you recognize any of these symptoms and suspect that you have this disorder, it’s advisable to seek professional help.