August 20, 2021
It’s estimated that over 10 million Americans have a TMJ disorder. However, despite how common the condition is, it often gets misdiagnosed. In particular, many doctors mistake headaches caused by a TMJ disorder for migraines. The main reason that these misdiagnoses happen is that the symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary significantly from patient to patient. As such, it’s important to be familiar with a wide variety of TMJ symptoms in Albuquerque so that you can seek the appropriate type of care. Below are 5 possible signs of a jaw problem.
1. Clicking or Popping in Your Jaw
Have you ever heard a clicking or popping noise when you open or close your jaw? If it only happens every once in a while, or if it’s the only unusual symptom that you’ve noticed, then it’s probably nothing to worry about, but you should still consult a dental expert in the near future. Make an appointment immediately if the sound happens frequently or is accompanied by pain.
2. Pain When You Move Your Jaw
Having a TMJ disorder usually means that your jaw is under more stress than it’s designed to handle. As a result, you might feel pain in your jaw or in ear whenever you chew, yawn, or speak. Generally, this pain will grow worse the longer that the TMJ disorder goes untreated.
3. Pain in Various Locations
The pain caused by a TMJ disorder isn’t just limited to the jaw. It can also take the form of headaches, neck pain, and shoulder aches. Some people even develop toothaches! If previous treatments haven’t helped reduce these types of pain, you’ll want to start seriously considering the possibility of a TMJ disorder.
4. Locking Jaw
Sometimes an issue with your jaw joint can cause it to lock up altogether. This can make it difficult to open and close your mouth, and when it does move, it ends up popping into place, often causing a loud clicking sound. Obviously, it’s hard to function in everyday life if you can’t move your jaw properly, so you should seek treatment immediately if you notice this particular symptom.
5. Trouble Chewing
Even if a misaligned jaw doesn’t interfere with your ability to open your mouth, it can still affect the way you chew your food. The teeth may not line up properly, making it more difficult to handle crunchy or chewy meals. If you feel like you’ve had problems eating lately, you should schedule a dental appointment.
Have you noticed any of the symptoms listed above, or have there been any other oddities that make you think something might be wrong with your jaw? Make an appointment with a dentist in Albuquerque right away so that they can help you determine whether a TMJ disorder is at the root of your troubles. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can begin TMJ therapy for relief.
About the Author
Dr. Eric Coontz has over 45 years of dental experience and is currently devoted to sleep dentistry and TMJ care in order help people in Albuquerque suffering from sleep apnea and jaw pain. He has taken countless hours of advanced training in TMJ therapy, and he works tirelessly to make sure that he continues to offer the best treatment solutions possible for the disorder. If you think you might have TMJ disorder, visit his website or call (505) 433-2107 to set up an appointment at his practice, Craniofacial Sleep Medicine and TMJ.
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