Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a painful condition impacting millions of Americans. Unfortunately, it’s also a condition that often goes undiagnosed due to the diversity of symptoms. If left untreated, TMJ can cause you to experience chronic pain. By learning to identify the symptoms of TMJ, you can hopefully take the first step towards alleviating this pain once and for all.
TMJ occurs when your jaw joint isn’t properly aligned. Due to the complex nature of your jaw joint, you may potentially experience pain in many different areas of your body. Since many of these painful symptoms are common to other conditions as well, it makes TMJ particularly challenging to diagnose.
Is My Chronic Pain Caused by TMJ?
It’s important to understand that not everyone experiences the exact same TMJ symptoms. The nature and severity of your jaw misalignment will determine which symptoms you develop. However, if you experience one or more of the following issues and your doctor has been unable to correct the problem, it’s possible that TMJ treatment may be the course of action that provides you with the relief you need.
Common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw
- Restricted jaw movement
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Uneven bite
In addition to the TMJ symptoms that are readily associated with a jaw problem, there are many other symptoms which may not necessarily signal that your issue is associated with a misaligned bite. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may want to visit Dr. Durham for a TMJ diagnostic evaluation:
- Chronic headaches (often resembling migraines or tension headaches)
- Facial pain
- Facial swelling
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Ear aches
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Balance issues
- Tingling or numbness in your arms or fingers
What to Do if You have TMJ Symptoms
If you exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you may be suffering from TMJ. The first thing you should do is speak to Dr. Durham to schedule a TMJ evaluation. If Dr. Durham determines that your symptoms are being caused by a misaligned jaw, he can recommend a TMJ treatment plan to restore proper bite alignment and relieve your pain.
Depending on the unique circumstances associated with your TMJ, Dr. Durham may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Fixed or removable neuromuscular orthotic device to be worn all day and night
- Mouth guard to be worn while you sleep
- Full mouth reconstruction
- Orthodontic treatment
- Restorative dental treatments
Please call (843) 706-2999 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry. We serve patients in the Hilton Head, South Carolina area.