The trickiest part of a proper TMJ diagnosis is figuring out what exactly can be blamed on your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. TMJ is a strange condition that can manifest differently in every sufferer. Vision problems may be your only symptom, or one of several, but most patients instantly wonder how this particular symptom could ever make sense. Is your jaw really connected to your eyes?
The answer is yes, which is part of what makes TMJ so difficult. Since the TMJ is a double joint, appearing on either side of the face, it dominates masticatory and cranio-vertebral function—chewing, speaking, and breathing. With such a heavy workload, the slightest jolt in routine can cause massive failures in the system. This includes disturbances in vision.
TMJ pain is regulated by the trigeminal nerve. This is one reason TMJ symptoms tend to be literally all over the place: the trigeminal nerve innervates everything from the Eustachian tubes to the sinus lining. The nerve itself has three branches: maxillary, mandibular, and ophthalmic. The first two relate to the jaw, and the second relates to the eyes.
As you can see, because of its interconnection with the trigeminal nerve, any TMJ disturbance could present as blurred vision or sensitivity to light. Schedule a consult with our Los Angeles TMJ pain treatment expert today.
If you have a persistent ringing in your ears, you should see a doctor right away. This condition is called tinnitus and could signal something wrong with your auditory system.
However, another source of tinnitus might be your temporomandibular joint, the hinge that controls both up-and-down and side-to-side movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint exerts powerful bite forces, making it high risk for trauma and inflammation. TMJ disorder may also arise from arthritis or another autoimmune condition.
Symptoms of TMJ range from clicking or popping sounds in the jaw—with or without pain—to headaches and earaches. It follows that tinnitus, which affects the inner ear, could reasonably be associated with TMJ. The joint borders the eardrum, after all.
If your doctor decides TMJ is the baseline cause of your tinnitus, they may start you on a whole routine of self-care meant to eradicate it. TMJ is often blamed on increased stress levels, so a lifestyle adjustment may be in order. Muscle relaxers and even antidepressants are often prescribed as well.
If you have tinnitus attended by any of the above symptoms, you may require TMJ treatment. For more information, contact our TMJ doctor in Los Angeles.
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.
The temporomandibular joint, which activates the jaw, is the most used joint in the body. As such, it can create a melting pot of difficulties if inflammation or disarticulation occurs. You may suddenly have difficulty eating or speaking, meaning your temporomandibularjoint is compromised. Or you may start having strange inexplicable pain in your jaw or neck. At the end of these difficulties could lie lockjaw, or a number of other unpleasant scenarios.
Since there are several causes of TMJ, including arthritis and autoimmune factors, all you can really do at first is identify your symptoms. Here is an incomplete list of common TMJ symptoms:
• Clicking sounds in the jaw while chewing
• Headaches accompanied by dizziness
• Mysterious earaches or toothaches
• Inability to close the jaw completely
• Jaw muscle stiffness or spasms
• Ringing in the ears
TMJ can also be asymptomatic, and you may not even know you have it. That may sound preferable to pain or swelling, but the sooner you know you have TMJ, the sooner you can see your doctor. TMJ is treatable, with both pharmaceuticals and things like stress reduction. But your TMJ specialist cannot begin to treat you without the relevant details.
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is what connects the jaw to the skull. Studies estimate that over ten million Americans are affected by temporomandibular joint disorder, which can cause a series of symptoms, including severe pain. Fortunately, there are doctors and dentists that specialize in TMJD, (such as our dentist in San Francisco) who emphasize the importance of knowing the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.
TMJD can be caused by:
- Teeth or jaw injury
- Grinding the teeth
- Poor posture
- And gum chewing, among other triggers
The disorder can lead to mild to severe jaw pain, clicking of the jaw joint, ear pain, popping sounds in the ears, headaches, stiff or sore jaw muscles, pain in the temple, and jaw lock. These can result in serious discomfort, constant pain, and an inability to eat properly.
Treatments for TMJD range from simple to invasive tactics. Those who suffer from the disorder can employ several remedies at home, such as applying ice packs, using anti-inflammatory medications, and gently messaging the area. Eliminating sources of stress can also have a considerable positive effect. An expert in TMJ in San Francisco may be able to prescribe dental splints, medications, physical therapy, or even Botox. In serious cases, surgery may be required.