If you’ve been suffering from facial discomfort and tense jaw pain that’s affecting your daily life, it could be your body’s way of telling you you’re one of the millions of people suffering from TMJ disorder.
See how your symptoms measure up to determine whether you’re suffering from isolated head, jaw, or sinus pain, or if your discomfort is stemming from TMJ.
Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
When common daily activities such as eating or talking become uncomfortable as a direct link to experiencing jaw pain, you’ll do anything to find some relief. Your jaw pain may be due to a combination of factors including genetics, arthritis or jaw injury, and jaw pain doesn’t necessarily mean you have a TMJ disorder.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
How to Check on Your Temporomandibular Joint at Home
If any part of the TMJ system of muscles, tissues, ligaments, and bones dislocates or becomes inflamed, a TMJ disorder can result. You can do a simple self-diagnosis by using this test, suggested by James Friction, DDS, a professor in the division of TMJ disorders and orofacial pain at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
While opening your jaw slightly, place a finger over the joint in front of your ear, and then open wide until you can feel the joint move. If you feel the joint click or if it’s tender when you gently press, you may have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
When to Check in with a Jaw Pain Professional
If you suspect you have TMJ disorder, talk to your primary care physician or your dentist. Either will be able to effectively check for symptoms and help you develop a treatment plan. You may consider visiting a TMJ disorder specialist that is local to you if the problem persists after treatment.
To diagnose and determine the true cause of your discomfort, we will perform the following:
Finding Relief from Jaw Pain
In many cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care and non-surgical treatments. Since the TMJ is a joint, with tissue and muscle, like any other in the body, the treatments are similar to how you would treat any other inflamed muscle or joint - with rest and relaxation.
Here are a few easy, at-home treatments to find relief from jaw pain: