What are the warning signs of TMJ?

If you’ve been experiencing jaw discomfort or you have noticed a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth, it is possible you are dealing with a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. In this post, we’ll cover the most common symptoms and warning signs of TMJ, provide at-home care options for relief and let you know when it’s time to see a doctor.

Signs and symptoms for TMJ disorders

Temporomandibular joint issues present themselves in a variety of different ways and not all patients will experience the same symptoms. If one or more of the following apply to you and you don’t know why, you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder.

  • Discomfort, aching or tenderness in your face or jaw or around the ear
  • Tightness or muscle spasms in your neck and shoulders
  • Popping, clicking or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Your jaw sometimes locks, open or shut
  • Discomfort when talking, chewing or yawning
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Inability to open your mouth all the way

What causes TMJ disorders?

The cause of TMJ disorder is not always known. Potential explanations include trauma to the face or jaw, stress-related clenching, teeth grinding, overbite or underbite, arthritis or muscle disease.

Treatment options

The following remedies may help mitigate your symptoms but If you are concerned you should make an appointment with your dentists to evaluate your condition.

  • Apply heat or ice to the jaw
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
  • Find ways to relax and reduce stress in your lifestyle
  • Give your mouth and jaw a rest by eating soft foods for a few days