Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

Millions of Americans are affected by temporomandibular disorders, sometimes called TMD or TMJ disorders. It’s a painful and surprisingly mysterious condition with a range of symptoms. Its cause can be hard to identify, but it is treatable at Poss Sleep Apnea & TMJ Solutions in Brentwood TN.

The most common TMD symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, back and neck pain, and dizziness. Experts say that as many as ten million Americans cope with it for years without being properly diagnosed, let alone treated.

You have two temporomandibular joints. They’re the joints on each side of the head that connect your jawbone to the skull. Signs of possible TMJ disorders may include any of the following:

  • Pain in one or both of the jaw joints
  • Pain, or difficulty, when chewing
  • Facial aches and pain
  • Pain in and around the ears
  • Locking of the joint

One of the frustrating things about TMJ disorders is that it is hard to find what’s causing the pain. There is no missing it, though. Possible causes include:

  • Trauma to the jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Genetics
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Habitual teeth clenching

Women are more likely to get it than men, though men get it too. Sometimes their symptoms are mistaken for migraine headaches or ear infections. A professional diagnosis is best. But there is a test you can do at home to help give you an idea whether you have a TMJ disorder.

It’s really very simple. Open your jaw slightly and put one finger over the joint in front of your ear. Next, open wider until you feel the joint move. If you notice a click, or if there is a tender spot as you press, it may be a sign you have a TMJ disorder.

You can help reduce your pain by making a few simple changes: don’t chew gum, for example, and don’t eat foods that require you bite down hard.

But anything you do on your own should be considered for ther short-term. For the longer term, call us at Poss Sleep Apnea & TMJ Solutons in Brentwood TN. A professional diagnosis is the first step, followed by treatment. There is no need to suffer your pain. We can accurately identify what is going on, and get you the relief you need.