TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint, a disorder that affects the joints that connects the jaw to the skull. This disorder has many telling symptoms, including pain and discomfort in several areas. Many are unaware it can also cause numbness. Our TMJ specialist wants everyone to know how this effect occurs.
When one or both of the jaw joints becomes damaged or inflamed, the surrounding tissues can be disturbed. This includes the muscles and nerves. The trigeminal nerve runs right next to the joints on both sides of the face, and carries sensory input from the forehead, face, and jaw to the brain and back. It is estimated that approximately forty percent of the brains total input is received through this nerve. If it is affected, the patient can experience numbness in these areas.
Other symptoms of TMJ include:
• Headaches and migraines
• Tooth pain
• Neck pain
• Stiffness or tenderness in the jaw
• Clicking or crackling in the jaw
• Lock jaw
• Muscle spasms
It is more common to experience pain due to TMJ than numbness. The joints are blocked from having too much contact from the trigeminal nerve by the skull bone, so if pressure is put on the nerve, it will likely respond by sending out pain signals.