5 TMJ Symptoms to Look Out For

TMJ Symptoms to Look Out For: While general jaw pain is relatively common, your jaw pain could also be an indication of something more serious. For this reason, we’ve put together a guide that tells you everything you need to know about the symptoms of TMJ.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint – a joint that connects your lower jaw to your skin. It can be found on both the left and right-hand sides of your head. The joint enables your jaw to open and close, helping you to eat and speak. This disorder impacts the joint in your jaw, leading to highly painful symptoms for those who are experiencing TMJ.

Symptoms of TMJ

1. You Experience Other Pain in Addition to the Jaw Pain

Due to the location of the temporomandibular joint, many people who have TMJ experience headaches, earaches, and migraines in addition to jaw pain. If something is wrong with the joint, TMJ may cause you to tense the muscles in your neck, back, and face, which often leads to pain in those areas.

TMJ Symptoms to Look Out For

2. Jaw Popping

People with TMJ often say that they can hear popping, grinding, and clicking sounds in their jaw whenever they chew, talk, or open their mouths. While this symptom is painless, it is common in people with TMJ. However, people with general jaw pain (and not TMJ disorder) can also hear these jaw noises.

3. Difficulty Biting or Chewing

As your mouth and jaw may be feeling restricted, you could encounter problems with biting, eating, and chewing. You may find it hard to close and open your mouth, which will inevitably make chewing difficult. Some patients even say their bite feels uncomfortable – as though their teeth aren’t properly fitting together.

4. Limited Jaw Movement

People with TMJ disorder often find that they can’t open their mouths all the way and that their mouths can’t move from side to side easily. Occasionally, those with TMJ may also experience their jaw getting stuck. In other words, they’ll open or close their mouth, and it’ll be stuck in that position.

5. Facial Fatigue

You may feel that your facial muscles are tired. This is a different facial pain symptom, explored under symptom number one above. Patients often claim that it feels like their entire face is exhausted and as though their facial muscles have been overworked. In some cases, it’s not the TMJ that causes facial fatigue but the stress and muscle tension.

What Next?

Contact your dentist if you’re experiencing these symptoms. They will examine your jaw by listening to it as you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion, and carry out dental X-rays and CT scans before giving you a diagnosis.

If you notice some or all of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our exceptional TMJ specialists and compassionate team to schedule an appointment.