TMJ Symptoms That You Might not Recognize

Feb 25, 2016, by Dr. Becky Coats

Unrecognized TMj Symptoms

It’s common to experience some aches and pains from time to time. That is just an inevitable consequence of pushing our bodies day in and day out. However, if you’re experiencing chronic pain, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to identify the source of chronic pain, making treatment of your condition that much more challenging.

TMJ is a condition that can cause you to experience chronic pain in different areas of your body. It stems from an improperly aligned bite and due to the complexity of your jaw joint, the painful symptoms associated with TMJ can often seem unrelated to the underlying cause of your condition.

How Do I Know if I have TMJ?

TMJ symptoms are both diverse and commonly associated with many other conditions. As a result, it can often be difficult to determine that your pain is being caused by a misaligned jaw. If you’ve sought treatment for any of the following issues from your doctor or other medical specialists and haven’t experienced any relief, you may want to visit Dr. Coats for a TMJ evaluation:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Restricted jaw movement
  • Clicking or popping sound in your jaw
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Uneven bite
  • Facial swelling
  • Ear aches
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • Balance issues
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms or fingers
  • Hearing problems
  • Stuffiness in your ears

Ways to Stem the Progression of TMJ

There are certain steps you can take right away to prevent your painful TMJ symptoms from getting worse:

  • Avoid grinding your teeth – Grinding your teeth puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your jaw joint and weakens the supporting muscles in your jaw region. By consciously trying to avoid grinding your teeth, you can take some of that stress off of your jaw.
  • Recognize facial tension – When you feel stressed, your body has a tendency to become tense. This is especially true for your facial muscles. If you recognize that you are experiencing stress, take a deep breath and try to relax your facial muscles as much as possible. This will relieve some of the tension on your jaw.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet – Eating a healthy diet can benefit you in numerous ways. A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as flaxseed or fish can help keep your jaw joints strong and stem the progression of TMJ.

While these actions will help you stem the progression of TMJ, they won’t cure your underlying condition. In order to experience long term relief from the chronic pain associated with TMJ, you’ll need to undergo dental treatment. Based on the results of your TMJ evaluation, Dr. Coats may recommend one of the following treatment plans:

  • TENS therapy to relax your jaw and locate its ideal resting position
  • Fixed or removable neuromuscular orthotic device
  • Dental restorations
  • Full mouth reconstruction
  • Orthodontics

Please contact Grapevine Dental Care by calling 817-481-6888 today to schedule your TMJ evaluation. Dr. Becky Coats serves patients in the Dallas, Texas area.