Do you have trouble chewing, an uncomfortable bite, or pain in your face or jaw? These and other symptoms are signs of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, otherwise known as TMD or TMJ. Let’s discuss the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis for this common problem and how Dr. Leslie Sultan can help.
Doctors believe that the symptoms of TMJ are due to issues with the joint or muscles of the jaw. If you have an injury to your jaw or the muscles in your neck and head area, like a whiplash, you may get TMJ. Clenching or grinding the teeth can also cause TMJ because an intense amount of pressure is placed on the joint. It can also be caused if the disc between the ball and socket of the joint is shifted. Stress, which causes tightening in the face and jaw, can also lead to TMJ.
TMJ can be temporary or last many years. The amount of pain it causes varies from person to person and can affect one or both sides of the face. Typically, more women have it than men and it is more often seen in adults under the age of 40. Symptoms include:
- Issues when trying to open your mouth wide
- A jaw that feels stuck or locked in the open or closed position
- A popping, clicking, or grating sound when you open or close the mouth
- A feeling of fatigue in the face
- Problems chewing, an uncomfortable bite, feeling as if the teeth do not fit together as they should
- Facial swelling
- Tenderness or pain in the face, neck, or jaw area
- Upper shoulder pain, ringing in the ears, hearing problems, neck aches, toothaches.
It is important to remember that several other problems can cause similar symptoms including arthritis, gum disease, or tooth decay. For this reason it is important to make sure you have your symptoms properly diagnosed. During your consultation with Dr. Leslie Sultan, you may need to get a CT scan, an MRI, or X-rays.