What Does TMJ Feel Like?

TMJ has many possible causes and symptoms that can make it a confusing condition for patients and dentists. For example, you may experience a clicking noise without feeling any pain or other symptoms. However, a dysfunctional temporomandibular joint can cause severe pain in several areas that mimic other problems. Continue reading to learn more about TMJ dysfunction and “what does TMJ feel like”.

If you experience TMJ symptoms, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral and TMJ examination.

Risk Factors For TMJ Disorder

Although anyone can experience TMJ disorder and its symptoms, several factors can increase your risk, such as:

  • Bruxism. Clenching or grinding your teeth at night is a common trigger for TMJ.

  • Arthritis. Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can break down the cartilage in the TMJ, change the bone’s structure, and promote degeneration of the tissues responsible for lubricating the TMJ.

  • Gender. It is believed that hormones cause women to be at a significantly higher risk of developing TMJ symptoms.

  • Age. TMJ affects people of all ages but is more prevalent between twenty and forty.

  • Trauma. Previous injury to the face, mouth, or jaw can lead to a damaged TMJ.

  • Health. Some medical conditions such as connective tissue diseases and fibromyalgia are linked to TMJ disorders.

What TMJ Feels Like

You likely use your temporomandibular joint more often each day than any other joint in your body. Every day this complex joint composed of bones, ligaments, muscles, and a cartilaginous disk allows you to chew a variety of foods, speak clearly, swallow, yawn, and make funny faces. Additionally, it is unique in being at risk to your emotions and mental state. One stressful event can cause symptoms that might last days or weeks. Since millions of people experience TMJ each year, it is helpful to know how it feels. TMJ symptoms include:

  • Pain that may include the temple area of the skull, the upper jaw, the muscles of the face, and the lower jaw.

  • Earache that can mimic an ear infection.

  • Tinnitus or ringing in your ear due to irritated nerves.

  • Tired and sore muscles in your face and jaw when you wake up due to grinding your teeth while sleeping.

  • Toothaches caused by clenching and grinding that damages the ligament around each tooth.

  • Teeth that don’t fit together normally because of the dysfunctional temporomandibular joint.

Dental Damage Caused By TMJ Disorder

There are several reasons to not ignore persistent TMJ pain. One is the loss of being able to eat a nutritious diet. Another important reason is the possibility of extensive dental damage that usually results from clenching and grinding your teeth at night. Dental damage caused by TMJ disorder includes:

  • Chipped teeth that can require fillings, crowns, and root canals to restore.

  • Fractured teeth that may result in extractions and gaps between your natural teeth.

  • Excessively worn teeth that may change your bite.

  • Sensitive teeth that hinder consuming hot and cold foods and beverages.

  • Defective dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding, and fillings.

Schedule Appointment

Contact us at Trident Dental to learn how we can help you with any questions or problems you might have about jaw pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorder. We provide comprehensive dental services to prevent and treat this painful condition that can affect your normal daily activities.

Schedule Appointment

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