If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, Dr. Stafford may be able to help. Oftentimes, a misaligned jaw causes these symptoms. Dr. Stafford is our designated TMJ dentist who has dedicated her continuing education to obtaining specialized training for treating jaw joint, facial pain, and sleep disorders.
Headaches or Migraines
One of the top symptoms patients will complain about experiencing are frequent headaches and migraines. Oftentimes, they don’t even know that TMJ is the cause and instead spend their time trying endless medications or treatments that don’t work. TMJ causes headaches because the position of the lower jaw is off. By correcting this misalignment, patients can say goodbye to headaches for good.
Pain Behind the Eyes
When someone has TMJ dysfunction, it can cause them to overuse their chewing muscles. These muscles are attached to the jaw from behind the eye socket. As a result of hyperactivity of this muscle, patients can experience pain behind their eyes or a headache.
Vertigo & Ear Pain
Due to the temporomandibular joint’s close proximity to the ears, it’s common for ear symptoms to arise with TMJ such as ear pain, congestion, and ringing. When there are issues in the inner ear, it can cause a postural imbalance which can lead to feeling dizzy or experiencing vertigo.
Neckaches & Tingling in the Fingers
When the chewing muscles experience hyperactivity, this also usually means there’s hyperactivity in the head and neck muscles. When head and neck muscles experience hyperactivity, they might constrict or put pressure on radial nerves which leave the nervous system at the neck. This may cause patients to experience tingling sensations in their fingers.
Clicking/Popping in the Jaw Joint
When you open and close your mouth, if you hear any clicking or popping, this is the sound of the disc that rests between the two bones in your jaw slips out. When it slips out, the jaw bone jumps to put the disc back in place, which can lead to popping or clicking noises.
Clenching/Grinding the Teeth
When the jaw is at a resting state, the teeth should rest slightly apart, only to touch when swallowing. If the upper and lower jaw experience disharmony in their position, it can lead to clenching and grinding which can wear down teeth and lead to receding gums.
The area of the brain that controls TMJ and chewing muscles is also responsible for alertness and wakefulness. If there is hyperactivity in the chewing muscles and TMJ, it can cause patients to suffer insomnia.
Sore Jaw Muscles & Facial Pain
A misalignment of the TMJ will often force the body to compensate by holding chewing muscles in a position that is non-resting. This will then cause hyperactivity of chewing muscles which can cause facial pain, fatigue from chewing, facial swelling, inability to hold the mouth open for long periods or opening all the way.
TMJ Diagnosis & Treatment
If you experience any of the symptoms of TMJ, it’s important to visit us for a proper diagnosis. During an hour-long consultation, we will evaluate the following areas:
- Past medical and dental history
- Pain history
- Past medical treatments
- An examination of your teeth and alignment
- Joint sounds
- Jaw movements
- Neck and head muscles exam
After we complete this evaluation, we will tell you what we think the diagnosis is. From there we will discuss your treatment options and if we believe our clinic can help you best. If you would like to move forward with treatment, we will recommend further tests for your diagnosis including x-rays, photos, diagnostic computer tests, and models of the teeth.
With Dr. Stafford’s expertise, she looks forward to resolving your pain and treating your TMJ for life. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation with us, please call (920) 563-7323 or contact us online today.