Facial pain affects the lives of more than 15 percent of adults in the U.S. Some of this pain could be caused by TMJ disorders. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are some of the most complex joints in your body. They are located on either side of your jaw and involve your muscles, ligaments and bones, which work together to make chewing and speaking possible.
When the harmony of the teeth, jaw muscles and TMJ no longer exists, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is the name for the resulting pain and discomfort.
If you’re experiencing jaw pain or other TMJ symptoms, please call our neuromuscular dentist in Salt Lake City at 801-355-5385 to schedule your neuromuscular evaluation. Warr Dental serves patients in Salt Lake City, Midvale, West Jordan and surrounding areas of Utah.
TMD/TMJ causes vary, but dysfunction can be triggered by arthritis, an improper bite, jaw dislocation or a number of other factors. Stress can also be a contributor, especially if it causes you to clench or grind your teeth. Women are twice as likely as men to have TMD. There are specific treatments designed to help alleviate your discomfort so there is no need to suffer anymore!
Symptoms of TMJ
The acronyms of TMJ and TMD are generally used synonymously when describing symptoms associated with the jaw joint. Your symptoms could be caused by TMD, but a toothache or sinus problems can also lead to some of these symptoms.
Some of the symptoms that can present with TMD include:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Back/neck pain
- Jaw joint pain
- Jaw joint clicking/popping
- Limited mouth opening
- Ear congestion
- Sinus-like symptoms
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose teeth
- Clenching or grinding
- Facial pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Chewing difficulties
- Neck pain
- Postural problems
- Tingling of the fingertips
- Hot/cold sensitivity
- Nervousness or insomnia
Headaches and Migraines
Tension-type headaches and migraines can be a warning sign of TMD. Head pain is one of the top complaints we hear from our TMD patients. If your head pain hasn’t responded to traditional treatments for headaches or migraines, then you may have a TMJ Disorder. Our dentist can help you find relief through various TMD treatments.
Jaw Clicking or Popping
Jaw clicking/popping is another common complaint we hear from our patients. A clicking jaw is not always a sign of TMD, especially if you’re not experiencing pain with the sound. Dr. Warr can determine if your jaw clicking or popping is a symptom of TMD or if it’s only a temporary annoyance. If you have additional symptoms such as headaches or facial pain, you could still have TMD.
Ringing Ears (Tinnitus)
Tinnitus, or ringing ears, is incredibly common in America. Nearly 50 million adults have ringing in their ears, which can range from annoying to debilitating. It can be a sign of a TMJ Disorder or a neurological condition. Sometimes, this ringing is even audible to the people around you, but 99 percent of those with tinnitus have subjective tinnitus—in which case the sound is only heard by them. An exam at our Salt Lake City office can help determine if the ringing in your ears is being caused by one or both of your temporomandibular joints.
Diagnosis is the first step toward treatment. The cause of TMD varies and is largely unclear, which can make diagnosis difficult. You may want to consult with a facial pain specialist or your general physician before beginning your TMD treatment. There are several treatments available once you’ve been properly diagnosed. The right treatment for you could include:
- Pain Management: Applying moist heat to the areas causing you pain and/or taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen can lessen your discomfort.
- A Night Guard: If you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, a night guard can stop you from doing so.
- Biofeedback: Stress can make your symptoms worsen and could be a contributing factor to your TMJ disorder. Stress management through relaxation training can help alleviate some of your symptoms.
- Orthodontic Intervention: TMD can be caused by a misaligned bite. Correcting the alignment of your jaw and teeth with orthodontics could ease your pain.
Schedule Your Neuromuscular Evaluation with Dr. Warr
Dr. Warr can determine if you have TMD through a neuromuscular evaluation. You don’t need to suffer from painful symptoms of TMJ!
Call our office in Salt Lake City today at 801-355-5385 to schedule your TMJ evaluation. Warr Dental serves patients throughout Utah, including West Valley City, Draper and other nearby areas.