4 Telltale Signs of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

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headacheYour temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jaw to your temporal bone.  These flexible joints enable you to talk, yawn, and, most importantly, chew your food. Because of the enormous pressure that these joints carry, your TMJs are prone to injuries.

Before you let a small issue become a serious disorder, watch out for these four telltale signs of TMJ disorders:

Morning Headache

Experiencing morning sickness or headache whenever you wake up does not necessarily mean you’re pregnant. The TMJ that connects your jawbone to your skull is the closest joint to your head. When it receives pressure, your skull also cushions the pain. Unless you have a medical history of migraine, you may need to consult your dentist for tests.

Earache

You may also experience earache if you have TMJ problems. All that pressure of chewing and talking may affect the delicate bones in your ear. You may also be more vulnerable to earache and TMJ disorder if your work requires you to talk and listen to customers all day.

Dental Erosion

Have you ever looked at your old photos and wondered why your teeth looked longer or sharper then? You may have been unknowingly filing your teeth while you sleep. While acidic food may be the main cause of dental erosion, bruxism may also cause your teeth to erode. Consult your dentist for TMJ treatments if you notice significant changes with your teeth accompanied by headache.

Craniofacial Pain

Bruxism or teeth grinding during sleep may also affect the temporomandibular joints. If you are experiencing this, you may become more prone to craniofacial pain – especially in the morning. Neglecting this may only worsen your TMJ disorder. Your dentist will inspect your jaw’s range of motion and identify pain sites as part of initial tests and TMJ treatments.

Do not let your TMJ disorder cause more oral health problems. Once you start experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit to your dentist.