What Are the Symptoms of TMD?

There has been many newspaper and on air articles recently on a variety of symptoms that can be attributed to Temporal Mandibular Syndrome.  I have written many articles on this condition but felt a review of the symptoms might be very helpful to some people. If you have exhausted all medical venues and still have 1 or more of the listed symptoms you problem could be related to your jaw position  The muscles react by contracting and causing pain.

People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD, and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain) or chewing
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • May occur on one or both sides of the face
  • Headaches / migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), a neuropathic pain disorder unrelated to TMD
  • Bell’s Palsy, a nerve disorder unrelated to TMD
  • Sensitive and sore teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Limited jaw movement or locking jaw
  • Numbness in the fingers and arms (related to the cervical musculature and nerves, not to TMD)
  • Worn or cracked teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
  • Jaw joint pain
  • Clenching/bruxing
  • Tender sensitive teeth
  • A limited opening or inability to open the mouth comfortably
  • Deviation of the jaw to one side
  • The jaw locking open or closed
  • Postural problems (forward head posture)
  • Torticollis
  • Pain in the joint(s) or face when opening or closing the mouth, yawning, or chewing
  • Pain in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints
  • Pain in the occipital (back), temporal (side), frontal (front), or infra-orbital (below the eyes) portions of the head
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Swelling on the side of the face and/or mouth
  • A bite that feels uncomfortable, “off,” or as if it is continually changing

Other common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis). Please consult a dentist that has the training to develop a treatment plan for you that can alleviate most if not all your symptoms that are jaw related. If not they will be able to refer to the proper health care provider to help you. There are some testimonials on out web site on how we have been able to treat a variety of head and neck issues.

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