When your body hurts, finding relief means finding the source of the pain first. The same is true for your dental health, but for many patients, chronic aches and pains may not always have an obvious reason. For instance, if you have TMJ disorder (a dysfunction with your jaw’s joints), then you might exhibit a host of symptoms that you wouldn’t immediately associate with your dental health. Today, we explore three common TMJ disorder symptoms that could warn you of trouble with your bite function and the need to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Popping/clicking jaw joints
Your TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, are two large joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. TMJ disorder describes a discrepancy with the health, integrity, and/or alignment of these joints. As such, one of the most common signs of a TMJ dysfunction is popping and clicking joints when you open and close your mouth. Over time, this can become increasingly more comfortable, and could lead to increasing instances of locked jaw as your condition grows worse.
TMJs lie close to your dominant cranial nerve, known as the trigeminal nerve. When the joints are aggravated, so is the nerve, which can lead to recurring, severe headaches and migraines. If you aren’t aware that you have TMJ disorder, then these can seem like they have no discernible cause, which can make them all the more distressing.
In addition to headaches, aggravation to your trigeminal nerve can also manifest in and around your ears, leading to chronic pain and ringing in one or both of them. Known as tinnitus, this can often be a symptom of several different conditions, and like headaches, it may not always be immediately recognizable as a symptom of TMJ disorder.
Find Out if Your Symptoms Indicate TMJ Disorder
If you experience these or other symptoms that could be related to TMJ disorder, then visit your dentist as soon as possible for a professional exam, diagnosis, and treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities.