3 Signs of a TMJ Disorder

August 14, 2023 8:00 am

You have two very important joints on either side of your jaw: the temporomandibular joints. These act like hinges, so you can open and close your mouth! Whenever a problem develops with these joints, it’s called a TMJ disorder or TMD. What are three signs?

    #1. Jaw Clicking

    When you open your mouth, do you hear or feel the joint clicking? Jaw clicking isn’t always a problem, but if it happens a lot, it could be a sign of TMD. Clicking can happen on one side or both. If there’s pain associated with the clicking, we can discuss treatments. If there are no other symptoms present, you most likely don’t need to worry.

    #2. Pain or Tenderness in the Jaw

    TMD can have many causes, and things like arthritis and teeth clenching put stress on your joints. You may experience pain and tenderness in your jaw muscles, which can spread to your ears and even your neck. Treatments like hot and cold compresses can provide relief, though you should remember to only use them for about 10 minutes at a time. A great start if you clench your teeth is getting fitted for a custom night guard at Alma Dental Care.

    #3. Headaches

    If you experience frequent headaches and aren’t sure why, they could be related to your TMJ! The joints and associated muscles aren’t limited to your jaw, so if there’s something wrong with the joints, the tension and strain can spread to your head. Headaches have many potential causes, so be sure to ask your doctor and dentist for help.

Treating TMD at Alma Dental Care in Petaluma, CA

If you’re experiencing any of the three signs we covered, it’s a good idea to talk to Dr. Serrano. Symptoms sometimes go away on their own, but there are also jaw exercises, medications, and devices like mouthguards that can help. If you have questions or want to book an appointment, please contact us today!

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Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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