TMD: Signs and Symptoms

TMD Troy, MI

TMD, also called temporomandibular joint disorder, is any problem affecting the joints that connect the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. The joint is complex, and works to move the jaw backward, forward, and sideways. The problem prevents the intricate system of ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones from working effectively. The precise cause of this condition is sometimes hard to determine.

Signs and Symptoms of TMD

Any patient suffering from a TMJ disorder is likely to experience the following symptoms:

Headaches

Headache is a common complaint of TMD patients. It could be persistent and severe, that many often confuse it with migraine headaches. TMJ headaches usually cause pain in the temple region, back of the head, and behind the eyes, with pain radiating down to the neck and shoulders. The patient needs to visit a dentist experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder.

Teeth Clenching and Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism is a common sign of TMJ disorder and puts undue stress on the strained, overworked, muscles of the jaw joints. The pain may be felt in the neck, head, shoulders, or back. Sometimes, the patient may notice worn, chipped, or cracked teeth.

Jaw popping or clicking

TMD may cause the jaw joints to make noises such as clicking and popping sounds. The clicking sounds are noted when the condyle shifts forward as the patient opens the mouth, causing the condyle to slip on and off the dislocated disc. The grating sound, also called crepitus, is the noise produced when the bones are rubbing against each other and happens when the dislocated discs become severely deformed.

The disc functions as protective padding between the two bones of the lower jaw (condyle) and the skull. Once the protective disc is deformed or dislocated permanently, the two bones will grind against each other and produce the loud sounds called crepitus.

Locked Jaw

TMJ dysfunction could also cause the jaw to lock when opened or closed. The treatment objective would be to correct the issue of the dislocated disc when clicking is happening and not defer the process until the noise gets louder. At that point, the patient will start experiencing severe discomfort of a locked jaw.

Ear Related Problems

Patients suffering from ear ache, buzzing or ringing in the ears, and/or stuffy ear feeling without the case of an ear infection could be dealing with a structural issue with the TMJ. The problem could be accompanied by symptoms such as hearing loss, loss of balance, and dizziness. If the condyle shift far backward and the disc dislocate forward, it could cause spasm of the chewing muscles, which could cause the symptoms listed. If there is no evidence of ear problem, it is advisable to visit the dentist for TMJ disorder treatment.

Sleep disturbances

Sleep disorders are common in patients dealing with jaw joint dislocation. It is usually hard to sleep when dealing with pain from severe muscle contractions and spasms caused by dislocation or jaw clenching.

Final note

If you notice any of the signs of TMD listed above, do not hesitate to book an appointment with the dentist for a diagnosis and treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://www.thanasasdds.com or call Thanasas Family Dental Care at (248) 260-2878 for an appointment in our Troy office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

How To Care For Dentures

For centuries, people have used dentures to replace missing teeth. The fact that they are still in use today speaks to how practical and effective they can be. Dentures are a popular option for those who are missing multiple teeth and do not have the desire or the ability to undergo extensive dental work. Developments…

How To Know If You Need To See An Emergency Dentist

Most dental care can be done at your regular dentist on your schedule. However, some types of care need the immediate attention of an emergency dentist. Assessing the type and severity of your symptoms is the key to determining when you need emergency care. The faster you act, the better your outcome is likely to…

Why You Should Not Ignore Your Sleep Apnea

If you have sleep apnea, it might at first seem like more of a nuisance for your partner than for you, especially if your primary symptom is snoring. Is it a good idea to find a solution that merely minimizes the effects on your sleeping partner — such as noise-canceling earbuds to mask the sound…

What Can Happen If You Avoid A Root Canal Treatment

When a tooth root becomes infected by bacteria, a root canal treatment may be recommended to remove the infected tooth tissue. While some may fear this procedure, the truth is there is more to worry about in the consequences of not receiving a necessary root canal than of getting one in the first place. Failing…

Recent Posts

How To Care For Dentures

How To Care For Dentures

For centuries, people have used dentures to replace missing teeth. The fact that they are still in use today speaks to how practical and effective they can be. Dentures are a popular option for those who are missing multiple teeth and do not have the desire or the ability to undergo extensive dental work. Developments…

How To Know If You Need To See An Emergency Dentist

How To Know If You Need To See An Emergency Dentist

Most dental care can be done at your regular dentist on your schedule. However, some types of care need the immediate attention of an emergency dentist. Assessing the type and severity of your symptoms is the key to determining when you need emergency care. The faster you act, the better your outcome is likely to…