Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a painful condition that develops when your jaw is misaligned. The symptoms associated with TMJ are often experienced in several different areas of your body, including your face, neck, jaw, shoulders and back. As a result, it can often be difficult to determine the precise cause of your pain.
Due to the varied nature of TMJ symptoms, no two people ever experience the exact same pain. This can further complicate the TMJ diagnostic process. By understanding more about the different symptoms associated with your condition, you can more accurately determine whether TMJ treatment may help alleviate your issues.
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should visit Dr. Strober for a TMJ evaluation at once.
Jaw Problems and TMJ
TMJ may result in a variety of jaw issues, including:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping sound in your jaw
- Limited jaw mobility
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Muscle spasms near the jaw joint
- Locking of the jaw
- Uneven bite
Head and Facial Issues Associated with TMJ
One of the most common symptoms associated with TMJ are chronic headaches. These headaches can often resemble migraines or tension headaches.
You may also experience facial pain, facial spasms or facial swelling due to the inflammation in your jaw.
Ear Issues and TMJ
Your jaw joint is connected to your skull. As a result, a misaligned bite may result in issues associated with your ear. These include:
- Ear aches
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Balance issues
- Hearing problems
- Clogged or stuffy ears
TMJ Pain in Your Neck and Back
An improperly aligned bite can impact your entire spinal column, resulting in:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms and fingers
Based on a thorough diagnostic evaluation of your head, neck, teeth and jaw, Dr. Strober will devise a customized TMJ treatment plan to help relieve your unique symptoms and restore a properly aligned bite.
TENS therapy will be used to relax your jaw muscles and identify the ideal resting position for your bite. This can relieve the tension in your jaw which should provide you with some relief from the pain you are experiencing. Muscle relaxants or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin may also be used to provide you with some immediate pain relief.
Once your pain has been alleviated, Dr. Strober will work to restore your jaw to its proper resting position. This will help ensure that your TMJ symptoms don’t recur in the future. Depending on your unique individual needs, Dr. Strober may recommend one of the following treatments to accomplish this goal:
- Neuromuscular orthotic mouth guard to be worn 24 hours a day
- Night mouth guard to improve the comfort of your jaw joints and muscles while you sleep
- Dental restorations
Please contact Strober Dental today by calling (619) 299-5925 to schedule a TMJ evaluation. We serve patients in San Diego, California.