The temporomandibular joint is a small but crucial joint that connects your jawbones to your skull. It plays a pivotal role in everyday activities such as talking, eating, and even yawning. When something goes wrong with the temporomandibular joint, it can lead to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint disorder can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, but the good news is that it’s manageable once recognized.
Before we dive into recognizing temporomandibular joint disorder, let’s understand what this condition entails. The temporomandibular joint disorder is a broad term that encompasses various problems with the temporomandibular joint, muscles, and surrounding structures. It can result from a combination of factors, including jaw injuries, teeth grinding, stress, arthritis, or even genetics.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
One of the most common signs of temporomandibular joint disorder is pain in and around the jaw joint. This pain may be localized or radiated to the neck, face, or ears. It can range from mild to severe and may worsen when chewing, taking, or even just opening your mouth.
Another indicative sign of temporomandibular joint disorder is difficulty or pain when opening your mouth wide or moving your jaw from side to side. You might also experience jaw-locking or clicking sounds when you move your jaw.
Temporomandibular joint-related headaches often feel like tension headaches and can originate from the muscles around the jaw joint. They may be accompanied by facial pain and tenderness. Some other signs and symptoms are:
- Ear pain and ringing
- Facial muscle fatigue
- Teeth grinding
- Swelling and inflammation
- Changes in bite
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint disorder based on these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek professional help. A dentist or oral specialist can diagnose temporomandibular joint disorder through a physical examination, dental history, and sometimes imagining tests like X-rays or MRI scans.
Schedule an Appointment
The temporomandibular joint disorder can be a challenging condition to live with, but with proper recognition and treatment, you can manage its symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint disorder, contact the office of Dr. Louisa Gallegos, DDS, conveniently located and servicing the Denver, CO area. Call 303.316.4034 to schedule an appointment.