4 Signs of a TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) attach your lower jaw to your skull. These complex joints give your lower jaw an impressive range of motion. You have one temporomandibular joint on each side of your skull, and if something goes wrong with one or both joints, you might experience pain in your jaws, neck, head, or other areas. It’s a common disorder, affecting as many as 12% of people across the globe.

Because these joints allow you to talk and eat, problems with your temporomandibular joints can dramatically affect your quality of life. If this sounds like you, there’s hope. David Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, of The Woodlands Dental Group in The Woodlands, Texas, have treated many patients with TMJ issues. In this blog, they explain four signs of TMJ disorders and go over potential treatment options. 

1. You have jaw and neck pain 

If you experience soreness and pain when you open your mouth to eat, speak, or even yawn, you may have a TMJ disorder. You may experience pain on just one side of your face, but it’s possible to feel pain on both sides. Pain may also radiate to other parts of your face as well as to your neck. 

2. You hear clicking sounds when you open your mouth

When you open your mouth, it should be silent. However, TMJ disorders can create a clicking sound when you open your mouth. You might hear a clicking noise when you eat or speak, and it may even be loud enough for others around you to hear it.

3. You have recurring headaches

There are many reasons why you might have a headache. Dehydration, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, and allergies are all potential causes of headaches. However, TMJ disorders can also cause headaches. This is because tension in your jaw and facial muscles can spread to other areas.

4. You can’t open your jaw fully 

If you have a TMJ disorder, you might not be able to open your mouth fully. Some people report that their jaws feel stuck. This can happen if your muscles in your cheeks and jaws become swollen or if your joints stick.

Treating TMJ disorders

If you think you might have a TMJ disorder, the providers at The Woodlands Dental Group can perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth and let you know if you have a TMJ disorder. 

Treatments for TMJ disorders depend on the cause. For example, if misaligned teeth are contributing to the disorder, you might benefit from orthodontic treatment. Or, if teeth grinding is the culprit, you might benefit from a bite guard, which can keep your upper teeth separated from your lower teeth. 

Rest assured that no matter what’s causing your problem, the providers at The Woodlands Dental Group will get to the bottom of what’s causing your issue and create a plan to get you well again. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone today.

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