What Are the Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMD or TMJ, is a common jaw disorder that effects millions of people, including many patients near Alpharetta. There is no definitive cause or cure for TMJ disorder, though TMJ dentists and doctors are always striving to learn more. Many people report several symptoms that may not conflict with everyday life, but, if left untreated, these symptoms can become worse or eventually affect your overall health and wellbeing.


Aches and Pains

TMJ disorder can bring on a variety of aches and pains across your upper body. Often, you will experience pain or achiness around your face, jaw joint, and your temples. You may also experience pain or tightness in your neck and shoulders, along with difficulty opening your mouth. Some people also experience hearing problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and toothaches. Many patients report that they grind their teeth at night, which could be another symptom of TMJ, though it is not always associated with it.

Noisy Jaw

Along with painful symptoms surrounding the jaw area, many dentists and doctors who treat TMJ disorder will use the sounds the jaw makes to solidify their diagnosis. The jaw should not make any noise when it moves, but you may notice a popping or clicking sound when you open and close your jaw. This occurs when the jaw joint briefly moves in and out of position, which is a common sign of TMJ.

Swelling and Difficulty Chewing

As a result of many of these symptoms, you may notice swelling around your face or jaw. This can be coupled with an overall tired feeling throughout your face, as well. Depending on the severity of the TMJ symptoms, some people begin to have trouble chewing, talking, and opening their mouth. Some people can even develop a type of lock jaw wherein the jaw becomes stuck in a certain position, and they are unable to move it. If this occurs, consult your dentist for TMJ treatment as soon as possible.
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