Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ Phoenix, AZ

Your dentist may have talked to you about TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This dysfunction can affect your ability to speak and chew effectively. Untreated, the condition can cause intense pain and lead to other oral health concerns. If you have discomfort in your jaw, you do not necessarily have this dysfunction. That is why you should be familiar with the different signs of the disorder.

An overview of TMJ

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the jaw to the skull. There is one on each side of the mouth. Each one allows an individual to move their jaw for eating and other functions. Various factors can cause pain in this joint, including injury and genetics. It may even occur in patients who grind teeth. To relieve the pain, the dentist may prescribe medication or do physical therapy. In severe cases, the person may require surgery to eliminate the pain.

Difficulty chewing

Every day, people rely on the proper movement of their jaw to chew. Some people may experience tooth pain while eating. However, if a person has jaw pain while chewing, the TMJ may have a problem. This will likely not be occasional pain but instead will be persistent and significant. It may be difficult or even impossible to chew some foods such as meat and bread that require more effort.

Difficulty opening and closing the mouth

Pain can also occur when a person is trying to open or close their mouth. In this case, there could be a TMJ disorder. The person may experience this while yawning, eating, or speaking. The pain could be constant and excruciating. Sometimes, the jaw may even lock, preventing the joint from moving.

Ear pain

Some people may not associate the ear with oral health. However, when it comes to TMJ disorders, conditions with the ear could be a clue that there is something wrong with the jaw. People with this disorder often have a throbbing, aching pain in the ear. This could be evident while the individual is moving the mouth or even while keeping it still.

General jaw pain

It does not require movement of the jaw for there to be pain in this area. Some people with TMJ know they have the condition because there is a constant pain in the jawbone. The jaw may also be tender to the touch. Pain and discomfort here could be so aggravating that it affects the person’s ability to sleep or perform other routine tasks throughout the day.

Getting help for this condition

Battling TMJ is not something you should take lightly. Study this list of symptoms, and never put off a visit to the dentist if you have any of these issues. Your dentist will examine your jaw by taking X-rays. You can also express your concerns and detail how long you have had these issues. With medication or through surgical procedures, you can find relief and regain the normal function of your mouth. Make an appointment today if you suspect this important joint is not healthy.

Request an appointment here: https://www.sundancedentalcare.com or call Sundance Dental Care at (623) 687-2993 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

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