The temporomandibular joint is one of the most vital joints in the body. It works by connecting your jaw to the skull, and is known for its flexibility since it allows your jaw to move up and down, and from one side to another smoothly. With these smooth movements, you will have an easier time talking, yawning, and chewing. The muscles connected to this joint also control the movements, and the position of your jaw.
The problem is that there are instances when this jaw area gets damaged or injured, leading to TMJ or the temporomandibular joint syndrome, which is a localized pain disorder. This is often characterized by a grating sensation or clicking sound when chewing or opening your mouth.
Those who suffer from TMJ disorder often experience extreme discomfort and pain. This could either be temporary or may take several years to heal. More women are affected by this disorder than men, and it usually happens to those between 20 and 40 years old.
If you want to know the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder, so you can immediately take action when it strikes, then this article can help you. Here is a list of the most common symptoms experienced by those who suffer from the disorder:
1. Pain and tenderness usually affecting the face, shoulders, neck and jaw joint. You may also experience pain and tenderness around and inside your ears whenever you widely open your mouth, speak or chew.
2. Inability to open your mouth widely
3. Your jaws tend to lock or get stuck
4. Chewing difficulty
5. Sudden discomfort when biting
6. Lower and upper teeth that do not fit properly
7. A side of your face may swell
8. Popping, grating or clicking sound – Your jaw will most likely produce this sound when you close or open your mouth. There are also instances when this symptom is accompanied by pain.
Aside from the ones mentioned, you may also experience pain in your neck and head, toothache, tinnitus or ringing in your ears, pain in your upper shoulders and dizziness.
Several factors can cause TMJ disorder. These include teeth clenching or grinding, since it adds too much pressure on the joint. It can also be caused by stress, since this condition often triggers you to clench your teeth or tighten your jaw and facial muscles.
The good news is that it is treatable. You just need to take note of the symptoms, so you can instantly take action. It would be best to visit your dentist right away if the tenderness and pain in your jaw becomes too persistent, or if you have a hard time closing or opening your jaw. This will be the key towards fully understanding your dental problem, and determining its possible treatment.