Part of the trouble with TMJ disorder is that there is no concrete list of symptoms. In fact, TMJ disorder itself could reference a number of different issues related to your jaw’s temporomandibular joints (TMJs), each with its own set of symptoms. The best way to find out if your jaw is in trouble is to be wary of symptoms that could mean you have TMJ disorder. Then, speak with your dentist as soon as possible if you exhibit any of them.
What TMJ Disorder Feels Like
TMJ disorder describes any condition in which one or both of your TMJs have difficulty moving correctly and comfortably. This can be due to joint damage, excessive inflammation, a dislocated joint disk, arthritis in one or both joints, or more. In many cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorder can include;
- Pain/discomfort in your face and jaw muscles.
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth fully.
- Chronic headaches, especially in the morning.
- Unconscious, reactionary teeth grinding.
- Occasional locked-jaw.
- And more.
Are You at Risk?
While the exact causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder differ from patient to patient, but the risk factors for jaw trouble are similar for most people. For instance, if your teeth are crooked and your jaw is forced to correct your bite’s alignment, then the strain can lead to joint exhaustion and damage. If you suffer from bruxism (habitual teeth grinding), then the excessive pressure can also damage your jaw. Your dentist will examine your dental health during your routine checkup to determine if you may be at risk for TMJ disorder, and whether or not you might benefit from TMJ treatment.