Signs You Need to Visit a TMJ Specialist in Encinitas

Signs You Need to Visit a TMJ Specialist in Encinitas

Jan 01, 2021

The TMD is a disorder that affects the Temporomandibular Joint. This joint is found on either side of the face, and it connects the jaw to the skull. It helps us to yawn, chew, talk, and sing. When the joint becomes injured or damaged it can lead to painful symptoms, or worse still, the TMD.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a collection of disorders that affect the joint. Without proper treatment, these disorders can make it impossible to move the jaw. It is important to know the symptoms so you can receive the needed treatment early. Here is a list of the six signs you might have TMJ disorder.

1. Frequent migraines

Migraines do not occur on their own, they are usually triggered by something. Some triggers include stress, sleep changes, hormonal imbalance, among others. The pain usually clears after taking pain-relieving medications. However, if you experience frequent and intense migraines, especially after waking up, it could be a sign that something else is going on.

It is estimated that 40 percent of TMD patients suffer from frequent migraines. If you experience migraines a couple of times a week, then it is a good idea to visit a TMJ specialist near you for an evaluation

2. Worn, cracked, and broken teeth

Patients with TMJ tend to grind and clench their teeth, which puts too much pressure on the teeth. This will cause the teeth to wear down and eventually crack or break. Furthermore, when the upper and lower joints are not in harmony or alignment, it puts too much pressure, causing the teeth to wear down.

If you have bite problems or misaligned teeth and jaw, it is crucial to visit the dentist for an assessment. The jaw imbalance can put stress on the jaw and trigger TMD.

3. Popping or Clicking Sound on the Jaw

The primary sign that you have a TMJ problem is trouble opening the jaw. Most times, you will have a popping or clicking sound when opening your jaw. Jaw cracking can occur when you yawn or open your mouth widely. However, if the cracking or clicking sound is accompanied by pain, then it could be a sign of a jaw problem. The popping sound usually occurs when the disc inside the TMJ shifts out of position.

4. Jaw and Neck Pain

Most people experience throbbing pain in the jaw and neck. Sometimes, the pain extends to the shoulder. Patients may also have pain in the sinuses or eyes. The pain occurs at any time, and it can be intense that it affects your daily activities.

While pain medication can ease the pain, it is crucial to visit our dentist in Encinitas for assessment and treatment.

5. Clogged ears and ear pain

TMJ seats adjacent to the ears, therefore, any damage will cause ear pain. You may also experience clogging of the ears that may appear as infections or allergies. TMD can cause tinnitus, which is the ringing sound in the ear. If you experience constant pain, ringing, and stiffness, it is best to be examined for TMD.

6. Tender muscles

Tenderness in the jaw is usually caused by strain on the joints or muscles. This strain causes pain and stiffness, affecting how the jaw moves. Most times, the pain occurs in the morning after you wake up. If you have an achy jaw in the morning, schedule an appointment with a TMJ specialist near you.

What Triggers These Symptoms?

The cause of TMJ disorders is not known, but it is believed to be caused by jaw misalignment and disc erosion. Damaged cartilage due to arthritis is also a trigger for TMJ.

What Forms of Treatment Are Available?

In some mild cases, TMJ pain clears without treatment. However, when the symptoms persist, the dentist may use one or a combination of treatments, like:

  • Medication
  • Therapies such as mouth guards, oral splints, and heat therapy

Jaw surgery is done in advanced cases to correct the alignment of the jaw and disc.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Steve Horne, DDS, if you have jaw pain, tenderness, or intense migraines.