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Sunday, 13 November 2011

TMJ Disorders

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
The TMJ is the joint infront of the ears that allows you to open and close your jaw. It is one of the most complex joints in the body. Many people grind their teeth or clench their teeth and cause trauma to this joint. Most people do not know that they have this destructive habit because it is done while they are sleeping. Constant trauma to the TMJ can cause several signs and symptoms not just relating to the teeth, but also to the rest of the body. One explanation of the multi-faceted nature of the symptoms of TMJ disorder is that the Vagus Nerve runs very closely to the joint and can itself be traumatized during clenching or grinding. The Vagus Nerve stimulates everything from the heart to the gut.
Other conditions such as arthritis can cause pain and stiffness of the TMJ joint. If you have at least three of the following symptoms, together with pain, tenderness or clicking/popping of the jaw joint, you probably have TMJ disorder.

  • ongoing neck and/or jaw tension
  • grinding or clenching teeth (you may do this at night and be unaware of it)
  • earache in one or both ears
  • itchy ear canals
  • jaw, neck or ear pain upon waking
  • migraine or tension headache
  • facial pain
  • vision problems (especially in the morning)
  • discomfort or pain in the jaw or teeth when eating
  • difficulty swallowing
  • nausea or digestive problems
  • teeth not meeting properly; uneven teeth
  • cracked or broken teeth, especially in the back
  • sensitive teeth
  • swollen throat glands
  • sore or itchy throat
  • tongue and/or throat tension
  • stuffiness or clogging in ears
  • pressure in one or both ears
  • dizziness/vertigo
  • ongoing or recurrent sinus congestion (false sinusitis)
  • coughing, or frequent throat-clearing
  • back pain
  • hearing loss or auditory impairment
  • ringing or noise in the ears (tinnitus)
  • noise sensitivity (hyperacusis, misophonia)
  • difficulty speaking or singing; changes in speech
  • anxiety
  • depression

TMJ disorder will not go away on its own. It will get worse without treatment. If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint disorder, make an appointment with your dentist or doctor for an official diagnosis and options for treatment. Treatment varies according to the individual, the cause of the disorder, and the specific symptoms.

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