The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the primary connective point between your jaw and your skull. This complex joint bears the responsibility of allowing the jaw to open and close so you can chew, bite, speak, and open and close your mouth. TMJ disorders involve problems with this important joint, and many of these issues do go undiagnosed because people do not realize they have a correctable problem. Take a look at some of the most common signs of a TMJ disorder.
You hear popping and cracking when you open and close your mouth.
Do you hear your jaws pop every time you chew your food? Have you ever had painful pops when you open your mouth really wide or yawn? Do you hear crackling when you speak? All of these could potentially be related to a TMJ disorder. Excess air gets into the joint if there are small pockets inside, and this excess air can cause the popping and crackling sounds you are hearing.
You frequently feel tension or pain in your jaws.
Tension and pain in the jaws are some of the most common symptoms of a TMJ disorder, but this tension or pain constantly gets blamed on other issues. The sensations actually come from overworked nerves and muscles surrounding the joint; they work harder to compensate for the undue stress on the joint. Over time, these sensations can actually grow worse, so early diagnosis is key.
You have an issue with grinding your teeth.
People who have a tendency to grind their teeth can be more prone to also having a TMJ disorder. The grinding, whether you are doing it when you are stressed or when you are simply asleep, puts a lot of strain on the muscles that surround the TMJ and the joint itself. If you have already been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding, clenching, or gnashing), it is important that you talk to the dentist about any symptoms of TMJ as well.
Reach Out to the Office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta for Advice
A dentist can help properly diagnose a TMJ disorder and make recommendations about treatment so you can get some much-needed relief from the symptoms. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta in Charleston, WV for an appointment.