Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) are fairly common and can manifest in various ways. There are two temporomandibular joints in your body – one on each side of your head, located in front of your ears. TMJ, as a condition, develops when there is a problem with either these joints as they connect the jawbone to the skull, or with the muscles responsible for chewing. TMJ disorders are somewhat common, however many people who suffer from the condition don’t realize they have it. If you notice any of the symptoms listed here, call our office at (202) 723-2400 to schedule an examination.
Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ disorder will often manifest itself via symptoms that appear to be unconnected to the jaw, including severe headaches or ear, neck, and face pain. While many people attribute these symptoms to stress or issues with their spine, they may actually be a result of this condition.
Other, more obvious symptoms include difficulty chewing or biting down, a popping or clicking sound when opening and closing the jaw, and jaw pain. In some cases, TMJ becomes so bad that a person can’t even open their mouth. This is the extreme, however, and there are almost always signs along the way.
Before people reach the point of unbearable pain, they’ve typically been experiencing discomfort in the mornings or throughout the day, difficulty chewing and a lack of mobility with their jaw in general. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or notice them getting worse, we recommend coming in at the first sign of irritation so that you can begin treatment before it becomes severe.