2 things people suffering from TMJ symptoms should know about
Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly called TMJ, is a painful condition that is the result of a dysfunctional jaw joint. While it is not known precisely how many people suffer from TMJ symptoms (estimates point to around 10 million), what is known is how painful and debilitating TMJ can be. This short post will give you insight into the two things you most need to know to begin treatment and recovery from TMJ symptoms.
The most common symptoms of TMJ include:
- jaw pain
- difficulty chewing
- headaches (including migraines)
- jaw “popping” as you open and close your mouth
- sensitive teeth with no other apparent cause
- neck and shoulder pain
Pay attention to symptoms that linger
For many people, temporary episodes with stress may cause jaw clenching resulting in pain or problems with the muscles and ligaments of their jaw. In these cases, TMJ symptoms are quite temporary and will resolve after a few days.
You should be concerned and attentive is if your symptoms either keep recurring or they never quite go away completely. This may indicate you are in the early stages of developing a more serious issue with the ligaments, muscles, and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.
Left untended, TMJ can cause a host of conditions that could require extensive or invasive treatment like surgery or teeth restoration. Caught earlier, treatments are much milder and typically revolve around exercises to relax the jaw, perhaps a night guard to prevent clenching and grinding of teeth, and perhaps some analgesic pain medicine.
Your TMJ pain is a signal that something is wrong
In addition to the consequences of ignoring a growing problem with TMJ symptoms, you may also have other compounding issues that may not be discovered until you seek a diagnosis and begin treatment. These issues could include:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- neurological disorders
- sleep apnea
Once you become knowledgeable about the consequences of TMJ, you will better positioned to safeguard your health. If you would like to learn more about TMJ and how it may be affecting you, take my TMJ questionnaire and I’ll reply with a free, no obligations diagnostic recommendation.