Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

The dysfunction of the jaw joint and its related complications can have far-reaching effects on both your health and the quality of your life. Patients who suffer from certain disorders of the jaw joint are often pleased to know that many of the symptoms can be relieved with help from an oral surgeon.

In order to accurately treat your TMJ disorder, it is important to properly identify the symptoms. By taking note of your symptoms, you may be able to gain a greater appreciation for the extent of your condition and begin taking the appropriate steps toward relief.

Frequent headaches may be one of the most common and most misdiagnosed symptoms of TMJ disorder. Patients who experience regular headaches tend to try living with the discomfort, often accepting it as a normal part of life. In reality, the headaches may stem from overworked muscles that control the movements of the head, neck, and jaw. It is possible to find relief by reducing the workload associated with the tense muscles.

Chronic clenching and grinding, a condition known as bruxism, can occur both day and night for millions of patients. Nighttime bruxism is of particular concern, since it is difficult to control this habit during sleep. The excessive forces of clenching and grinding can damage the teeth, gums, and bone, as well as contribute to stress on both the jaw joint and the muscles.

Popping and clicking (with or without pain) can occur on one or both of the jaw joints. These symptoms are often associated with difficulty opening the mouth and lockjaw. Like many other TMJ symptoms, popping and clicking is often overlooked or dismissed as “normal”. Typically, a formal examination of the joint can reveal cartilage damage, muscle damage, or arthritis.

The treatment recommendations for TMJ disorders can include non-surgical, surgical, or orthodontic intervention depending on the extent of the disorder. Early detection and proper treatment are often effective at preventing future damage and relieving discomfort. If you would like to discuss your TMJ symptoms with a professional in the Dallas area, contact the office of Drs. Steven D. Sherry and John D. Wallace to schedule a professional consultation today.