Variety of TMJ Symptoms

Some people who come to Dr. Rosen with TMJ symptoms may have daily or weekly headaches along with jaw pain and tightness. Other people may not have headaches but will have neck tightness and neck pain. Some patients only suffer from ear symptoms related to TMJ. No two people present with the exact same combination of TMJ symptoms, but the keen eyes and ears of a Wilmington, DE, TMJ dentist can pick up even the slightest TMJ dysfunction. 

With the help of the most innovative TMJ technology in the industry today, Dr. Rosen and his team can diagnose and treat TMJ no matter what combination of symptoms you’re facing.

TMJ Affects Many Areas of the Body

man suffering from ear pain, a common symptom of TMJAs we said earlier, there are numerous symptoms of TMJ, including:

  • Facial, jaw, or neck pain
  • Migraines or chronic headaches
  • Sore, loose, worn down, sensitive or cracked teeth
  • Stiffness or soreness in the upper body, including the neck, back, and shoulders
  • Ringing in the ears or ear congestion
  • Numbness in the fingers or tingling in the fingertips
  • Limited jaw movement, locking of the jaw, clicking of the jaw, or inability to open mouth
  • Jaw clenching/grinding
  • Insomnia
  • Vertigo
  • Depression

TMJ may affect any or all of these areas of the body:

  • Ears
  • Jaw
  • Head
  • Face
  • Neck

TMJ and Ear Signs and Symptoms

Even the ears suffer when your temporomandibular joints are not functioning properly. Since these joints are right in front of the ears, it’s no surprise that your ears will suffer when you have TMJ/TMD. In addition to ear pain, you may also experience the following TMJ ear symptoms:

  • Ringing in the ear, medically known as “tinnitus”
  • Stuffiness in the ear
  • Muffled sounds in the ear
  • Pain in the ear
  • Hearing difficulty

When the ear is involved with your TMJ, you may also experience dizziness (vertigo) because the inner ear is part of the body that controls balance. Many people with TMJ ear symptoms report dizziness, feeling faint, and feeling nauseated. 

TMJ and Jaw Signs and Symptoms

Some of the most common TMJ symptoms related to the jaw include:

  • Clicking and/or popping noises in the jaw while eating, talking, or yawning
  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Jaw inflammation that may be red and warm to the touch
  • Facial pain around the jaw
  • Clenching/grinding of the jaw, especially at night known as “bruxism”

There are several reasons people get TMJ. Trauma from an accident or a blow to the face may cause TMJ jaw symptoms. The temporomandibular joints are especially susceptible to injury because of the work they do for the face and head. Some factors that may increase your chances of developing TMJ jaw symptoms are:

  • Injury to the jaw 
  • Chronic grinding or clenching of teeth (bruxism)
  • Certain connective tissue diseases affecting the TMJs

TMJ Head/Face Signs and Symptoms

man suffering from jaw pain, a common symptom of TMJTMJ will likely affect the head and facial region of most people who have it. Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ related to the face and head include:

  • Pain in the muscles of the cheeks
  • Locked jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Reduced mobility
  • Snoring
  • Popping/clicking noises in the jaw area

If you have TMJ, you will likely have head pain for one of two reasons:

  1. Jaw tension is the first reason your head will hurt. When people clench or grind their teeth, the muscles and joints in the mouth and jaw area are overworked, causing headache pain. 

The pain travels from the jaw to the temples, manifesting as mild, moderate, or severe headache pain. Grinding the teeth can also result in cramping of the jaw, leading to pulsating headaches comparable to migraines. 

      2. A second common reason for a TMD headache is a misaligned bite (malocclusion), which strains the jaw. If you’re forced to keep your jaw comfortable, your jaw, face, and head muscles will be overworked. TMJ treatment puts the jaw in its optimal position, so there is no longer any strain that leads to headaches.

TMJ Neck Signs and Symptoms

A stiff neck (feels like you “slept on it wrong”) and pain in the neck are two of the most common neck-related TMJ signs and symptoms in Wilmington, Delaware.

With TMJ, the inflammation within the joints will likely spread, and as the inflammation spreads, it moves along the nerves and muscles in the head area. As this occurs, TMJ sufferers feel pain in areas outside of the jaw, like the neck and upper body. Spreading inflammation is one of the main reasons TMJ affects so many body regions.

Learn More About TMJ Signs and Symptoms in Wilmington, Delaware

Please call the office of Michael T. Rosen, DDS, MS, FAGD, LVIF, at (302) 994-0979 to schedule a TMJ evaluation in Wilmington, DE. You may also fill out our online contact form; one of our team members will reach out shortly.