What Could That Pain In Your Jaw Be Telling You?
Do you find that you wake up most mornings with unexplained headaches? Have you noticed an increase in jaw and facial tenderness? It is not uncommon to experience these discomforts on occasion, but when it becomes routine, is happening frequently, or you are experiencing both symptoms simultaneously, it is a warning sign that something may be amiss with your oral health. These signs all lead to a common underlying condition that many patients are not familiar with. Continue reading to learn more about this condition and the importance of treating it in a timely manner.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD, is a condition that arises from problems related to the jaw joints, facial muscles, and nerves of the face. TMD can be caused by several factors such as stress, grinding and clenching of teeth, trauma to the head, jaw and neck, or arthritis in the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that attaches your skull to your jaw. When you place your finger near the bottom of your ear and open your mouth, you can feel the joint act like a hinge. This is also the area you may feel discomfort in the face.
As mentioned above, headaches and jaw tenderness are two common symptoms of TMD. Other symptoms can include:
- Jaw that can feel stuck and difficult to open and close
- Clicking or popping sound while opening mouth or eating
- Aching facial pain
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
Many more patients are experiencing TMD related symptoms than ever before. The lasting effects of the pandemic as well as other life stressors are causing more patients to experience dental emergencies such as cracked and worn teeth. Following an examination, we can determine a solution to help improve symptoms and alleviate discomfort.
If TMD conditions are not treated, the symptoms could increase and become more severe over time. If you live in or around the Fort Lee, NJ area and are experiencing any of these symptoms or are interested in learning more about TMD, please contact our office today. We look forward to seeing you soon.