Is the Pain in Your Jaw TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ SyndromeDoes your jaw ever bother you? Maybe the joint which is right in front of your ear clicks while you’re chewing, snaps when you’re yawning, or even locks at times? You may have what’s commonly called TMJ syndrome, otherwise known medically, as temporomandibular joint syndrome.

And though our Hilldale Dental team isn’t sure how many people nationally have TMJ, estimates from the Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows the disorder is growing. There may currently be more than 10 million Americans suffering with TMJ.

The good news is, for most people, the pain isn’t an indication of a serious problem. We know from our own patients, the discomfort is often occasional or temporary, and eventually goes away with little or no treatment. But there’s bad news, as some people will develop significant, long-term symptoms. So how do you know if you are one of those people? Here are some of the most common signs you may be dealing with TMJ syndrome, and the pain can range from your head to your shoulder:

  • Pain in your jaw, especially at the joint
  • Popping or clicking of your jaw joint
  • Locking or even dislocation of your jaw
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw, joint, or neck muscles
  • Cracking or popping sounds in your ears
  • Headache
  • Face, cheek, or chin tingling and pain
  • Shoulder pain

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with our office. The reasons or causes for TMJ syndrome are still not clear, and while some cases may be caused by an injury, there are others that start without a specific reason.

We can talk with you in-depth about TMJ syndrome, as well as ruling out other known causes of pain like sinus or ear infections, or even different types of headaches. Ruling out these problems first, can help in identifying TMJ disorders, the treatment option best for you.