Signs and Symptoms of TMD
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are jaw muscles and joint disorders that can cause facial pain and tenderness at the joint. Two joints connect your skull and your lower jaw which are called temporomandibular joints or TMJ. These joints are responsible for the smoother movements of your jaw, they rotate and slide whenever you are chewing or talking.
Healthy TMJ allows your jaw muscles to work properly. If they are not functioning well, it can cause problems like difficulty eating and swallowing. At Smile Family Dentistry, we provide both surgical and non-surgical treatments for TMD disorders. If you are experiencing signs of discomfort, our dedicated staff can help you.
Jaw Pain and Headaches
Most symptoms of TMD are noticeable, meaning, you can see and feel them all by yourself. Though, even when you can notice these symptoms by yourself, you will still need to be checked before undergoing any major treatment to avoid potential problems. One of the most common symptoms is pain in the jaw. The discomfort can be felt on the right, left, or even both sides of your face. The pain can spread behind the eyes, neck, and to your back. The symptoms are most prevalent in the morning or late afternoon. TMD can also cause frequent headaches.
Clicking Sounds and Jaw Locking
Another symptom of TMD is the clicking sounds you can hear whenever your jaw is moving. These popping or grating sounds can easily be heard if you are eating and chewing food. If you hear clicking sounds whenever you are opening or closing your mouth, then you might have TMD. When your TMD case is severe, it can also cause your jaws to lock. Locked jaws will prevent you from moving and using your mouth. If your jaws are locked, you will need professional help to realign your jaw joints before you can move them again.
Swelling and Difficulty Chewing
TMJ disorders can also cause swelling of the face. Although this symptom is uncommon, it can still happen to some people, and it can easily be seen. This happens when your TMJ gets more irritated causing inflammation around your jaw's joint capsule. The swelling can be on either the left or right side of your face, and it can be mild or severe. TMD causes your jaw to misalign and this can affect your eating. This can make you feel like your teeth are not properly closing and it can make it harder to eat chewy food.
Ringing In Your Ears
The destruction of your TMJ cartilage can also cause ringing in your ears. This condition is called tinnitus or hearing sounds from inside your body and not outside. People with tinnitus can hear buzzing, ringing, or humming sounds that others can not. Though it is known to be more common in older people, some cases of it are linked to TMD and not hearing loss.
TMD can be painful, but it can be treated. For those of you who are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might have a problem with your TMJ. To have it evaluated and treated, come visit us at Smile Family Dentistry or contact us at 925-825-1130, to schedule your appointment today.