TMJ Disorders and Symptoms

TMJ Disorders and Symptoms

Some patients who require jaw reconstruction include people who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. TMJ dysfunction is a common disorder where a patient’s quality of life may be affected. In some cases, severe TMJ disorders may require surgical reconstruction of the jaw. Our staff has composed some answers to commonly asked questions about TMJ disorders below.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint attaches the lower jawbone to the temporal bone of the skull. A person has two of these joints positioned below the ears. These joints move rotationally and transitionally, acting together in unison to open and close the mouth. When you eat, chew, yawn, or clench your teeth, you are utilizing your TMJ. Surrounding these joints are ligaments, muscles, and tendons that assist the TMJ with the motions associated with mouth movement.

What is TMJ dysfunction?

TMJ disorders occur when the jawbones and temporomandibular joints are misaligned. This creates strain on the joints’ muscles and tissues and causes misalignment between the upper and lower sets of teeth. This can produce problems for speaking, eating and impede proper mouth movement.

What Are the Symptoms of Tmj Disorder?

  • Popping or clicking sounds when the jaw moves
  • Pain in the face, jawbones, neck, and shoulders
  • Facial swelling
  • Diminished ability to fully open the mouth
  • Discomfort when chewing, biting, or opening the mouth
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Toothaches
  • Earaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Worn down teeth, which is the result of bruxism caused by the misalignment of the joints

Patients with severe TMJ disorders may experience chronic pain and discomfort in the head, neck, and facial area. In addition, TMJ dysfunction can hinder a patient’s ability to eat and speak. Some patients experience a complete inability to open or close the mouth when the jaw locks in place.