7 Signs That You May Have a TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a complex joint where your jaws come together. You have one on each side of your head, and if something is wrong in or around the joints, you can get pain in your jaws, facial muscles, neck, and even your head. It’s a common disorder, with an estimated 5-12% of people worldwide experiencing TMJ issues. 

A TMJ disorder can develop as a result of trauma, wearing braces, or it may even have no known origin. Stress can also cause symptoms to worsen. In this blog, Joseph Yousefian, DMD, of Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults explains the top seven signs that you may have a TMJ disorder.

1. You have jaw pain

If you have a TMJ disorder, it can cause pain in your face. You may especially experience pain when you eat or talk. The pain may be on one side of your face or both, and it may even extend into your neck.

2. Your jaws make a clicking sound

When you open and close your jaws, hearing a clicking sound is often a strong indicator that you have a TMJ disorder. Even if you have become accustomed to hearing it and no longer notice it, others around you may hear it. 

3. You grind your teeth

Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMJ disorders. Also called bruxism, teeth grinding most often occurs during sleep. However, many people also grind their teeth when they’re awake. This can cause significant pain and cause damage to your teeth.

4. You have frequent headaches

TMJ disorders often cause muscle tension and jaw pain. All of that pressure on your jaws and facial muscles can lead to headaches, too.

5. You have difficulty opening your jaws

If your mouth sometimes feels “stuck,” a TMJ disorder may be the reason why. Your jaws may feel stuck because the muscles in your jaws are swollen, one or both joints stick, or other reasons.

6. Your jaws don’t align

If you have a TMJ disorder, you might not feel like your jaws align correctly. This can make it uncomfortable to chew. Furthermore, this can lead to uneven wear on your teeth.

7. You’re unable to open your mouth wide

Whether you’re trying to yawn or just eat a big sandwich, you may feel like it’s too difficult to open your jaws as widely as needed. This could be because the jaws and facial muscles have limited motion and can’t expand as needed.

If you think you might have a TMJ disorder, a visit to the orthodontist is the right thing to do. Dr. Yousefian can examine your mouth and let you know if you have a TMJ disorder. If you do, he can recommend treatment options, such as medications, dental devices, or physical therapy. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults today.

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