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Know the Signs of TMJ Disorder

Do you know the signs of TMJ disorder?

TMJD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, refers to a range of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joints of the jaw, the muscles of the jaw, and the nerves of the face. Although researchers estimate that about 10 million people in the United States have TMJD, many individuals suffer from the condition without even knowing it. Dr. Caracioni treats patients with TMJD who have experienced pain and other uncomfortable symptoms of the disorder.

The signs of TMJD include:

Ear Pain. Many patients with TMJD experience pain in or on their ear. This pain often leads people to think they are suffering from ear infections. Frequently, patients seek treatment for ear pain and experience misdiagnoses that overlooks their jaw condition.

Headaches and Neck Pain. TMJD patients experience headaches and neck pain. This pain is caused tense and tight muscles of the jaw- which in turn cause tense and tight muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders.

Jaw Tenderness. Sore jaw muscles or a tender jaw are red flags that a patient is suffering from TMJD. People with TMJD experience jaw pain most often in the morning, upon waking up. This is because many TMJD sufferers clench or grind their teeth at night, causing muscles to be tense. Some sufferers also experience pain in the late afternoon or evening after a day of work.

Tender Teeth. TMJD causes teeth to be sensitive because of the muscles of the jaw being clenched very tightly and their bite being misaligned.

Jaw Pain. People with TMJD experience pain when they open or close their jaw, or move it side to side. Normal actions like chewing, yawning, and talking become painful. In some cases, these actions are downright difficult as the condition causes the jaw to “lock” in a closed position.

Clicking or Popping with Movement. Patients with TMJD often experience clicking, creaking, or popping noises when they open their mouth or move their jaw. This clicking or popping can be extremely painful for some individuals.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have undiagnosed TMJD. Make an appointment with Dr. Caracioni for a consultation and exam today by calling 785.783.0741