8 TMJ Symptoms to Watch Out for If Jaw Hurts…

What is the TMJ

You might be wondering what TMJ and TMJ symptoms are all about. Unless you are very familiar with or interested in the medical field, you may mistake TMJ for the name of a sports team of something entirely different.


TMJ is an abbreviation for one of the most important joints in your body: the temporomandibular joint. In layman terms, this is the joint of the jaw, with one found on each side of the mouth and both work together in unison. The name itself is derived from the two bones that make up the joint: upper temporal bone and the skull (cranium).

The American Dental Association (ADA) has described the TMJ as one of the most complex joints in the body.

What are the TMJ Symptoms

Being a very mobile joint, it should not come as a surprise to you that the TMJ is often associated with a host of disorders or syndromes. These conditions manifest as the symptoms of TMJ, and the most commonly observed ones are listed thus:

  • Discomfort or soreness in the jaw region, noticed especially in the morning or towards the end of the afternoon.
  • Non-stop headaches.
  • Facial pain (radiating from behind the eyes and even spreading to the neck, shoulder and back).
  • Ear aches or ringing in the ears.
  • Clicking or popping sounds of the jaws.
  • Clenching of the teeth (also referred to as bruxism).
  • Dizzy feelings.
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the fingers.
  • Limited mouth movements when talking, eating or swallowing as these movements are associated with pain and discomfort.

The above-mentioned are some of the most easily-noticed TMJ symptoms.

What Causes TMJ Symptoms

Although the symptoms of TMJ are varied, the cause is surprisingly simple. Many oral health doctors agree that TMJ disorders usually result when excessive strain is placed on muscles that are responsible for chewing, speaking and swallowing.

Physical and mental stress can increase your predisposition to coming down with the disorder.

Should You Be Worried About TMJ Symptoms

Yes, you should obviously be worried when you start manifesting one or more of these symptoms. These symptoms make living a hell as talking, speaking, eating and even drinking become associated with great pain. And since these are activities that you cannot do without, you imagine the agony that comes with these symptoms.

What Can You Do When You Have TMJ Symptoms

Okay, now I see you are getting jittery already but not to worry at all, there are remedies.

The first thing that you need to do is to rest the joint itself by reducing the amount of stress that you place on it. In addition to that, there are various medications and pain-relieving tablets that you can take.

Then make sure you do not stress yourself and take adequate rest.

For those with uncontrollable bruxism (teeth clenching), you can go for mouthguards or other devices that have been specially made for that purpose. While at home, ice and hot packs may be used to relieve the pain and in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Discuss with your dentist first before trying to handle the TMJ symptoms.

Reference links



TMJ Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment I YouTube clip


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