TMJ Guide

Can You Identify the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?

On account of the complexity as well as the nearness to the eye, ear, palate, tongue, neck, shoulder, etc. the Temporomandibular Joint or the TMJ can flash  innumerable warning signs and symptoms when something goes wrong with it. Health-care personnel not fully familiar with these are prone to confuse other ailments with the TMJ disorder, resulting in faulty diagnosis. In addition, some of the organs mentioned above are interlinked with the TMJ, turning the picture more intricate. For instance, a tiny tendon called the Pinto’s Ligament that connects the TMJ with the middle ear can convey mid-ear soreness to the TMJ and vice versa.


However, some of the TMJ symptoms are easy to recognize and may be termed Primary Symptoms while others that are not so easily identifiable may be called Secondary Symptoms, both of which are described below. Moreover, there are quite a good many unusual symptoms of TMJ that gives rise to misdiagnosis and so are listed here too.


Primary TMJ Disorder Symptoms


Primary symptoms of the TMJ syndrome include pain in the jaws, facial pain (myofascial syndrome), unrelenting headache and ear pain as well as hearing difficulty. Primary TMJ symptoms also include inflammation of the temporomandibular joint with tenderness in the surrounding muscles, ligaments and bone. People suffering from TMJ dysfunction also complain of sinus stuffiness, stuffiness in the ears and dizziness (not vertigo) affecting them during major part of the waking hours. However, the most unmistakable symptom associated with the jaw joint comprise of nagging headache, clicking sound while opening the jaw and restricted mouth movement.


Secondary TMJ Disorder Symptoms


  • Secondary TMJ symptoms are no less agonizing as compared to the principal warning signs given by the TMJ disorder and are described here item wise.


  • Secondary TMJ disorder symptom relating to the head and face include migraines, cluster headache, sinus type headache and forehead pain. Additionally, pain is felt through the scalp and hair roots.


  • Secondary TMJ disorder symptom relating to the eyes include sensitivity to light, blurred vision, pain below, behind and above the eyeball, feeling of pressure behind the eyes and frequent watering in the eyes.


  • Those relating to the ears include ringing, hissing, roaring sounds in the ear as in Tinnitus, gradual loss of hearing, feeling of fullness in single or both the ears, earache and stuffy or clogged ears.


  • In the mouth, the symptoms are visible in the cheek, face and chin and this include pain in the jaw and jaw joint (TMJ), painful and restricted jaw movement, clicking or popping noise in jaw opening, chaotic tongue movement, uneasiness and pain in mouth, cheek, chin and face.


  • Secondary TMJ disorder symptoms relating to the neck include painful neck muscles and aching shoulder blades. Also, there is back pain and stiffness in the whole area that becomes sore to the touch.


  • Secondary symptoms are also noticed in the throat such as sore throat for no rhyme or reason, swallowing problem and a feeling of tightness in the throat.


Unusual Symptoms Of TMJ


Swelling in the jaw and cheek is an unusual symptom of TMJ which is more pronounced on the side of the face that has been affected. Though inflammation in and around the affected jaw is a regular feature of this, it rarely extends to the cheek or the surrounding areas. This is probably caused by gorged blood vessels in those areas where the blood can not be drained out.


Numbness in the fingers is yet another unusual symptom of TMJ in people above fifty. However, it is a seemingly transient phase that goes away as suddenly as it had appeared.


Shoulder pain occasionally affects those who are suffering from TMJ and it is generally restricted to one side of the shoulder. The strain radiates from the neck and spreads towards the shoulder.


Constant jaw dislocation sans any TMJ pain is an unusual type of TMJ symptom that is experienced by some people. These people are required to sleep with a hard pillow pressing against the affected joint as it is prone to get dislocated while in sleep. This has seemingly resulted from misaligned jaws that have remained untreated for long.


Sound of clicking jaw that can be heard up to 5 feet can be treated as a very unusual TMJ disorder symptom though under normal conditions, the noise can be heard by anyone else within a radius of 1 foot or 2. These people also experience intense pain followed by clicking and can hardly dare to laugh!!


TMJ Treatment


Since so many people suffer from the disorder, there are quite a few treatment options that include conventional treatments such as drugs and surgery, home TMJ remedies and exercises to relieve TMJ. Most of them can successfully treat the symptoms, but the problem is, since the root cause of the disease remains within the body, the symptoms often make a comeback. It seems that the only treatment that gives permanent relief is holistic remedies. Treating the body as a whole, holistic remedies reach within to identify all the contributing factors and once the root causes are treated and gone, the symptoms go away automatically, never to bug the person anymore. So for a lasting cure, you need to turn to holistic remedies. 


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