I don’t want to alarm you but we all have TMJ. It’s true! Our temporomandibular joint is the hinge between our jaw and our skull that helps us to smile, laugh, chew, yawn, talk…well, you get the idea. It is a pretty important joint that helps us perform many normal functions and that is why if the joint is even slightly misaligned, big problems can be the result. If your TMJ is out of whack, then you can suffer from TMJ Syndrome, also known as TMJ Disorder. Most people will experience some degree of TMJ Disorder in their lifetime and it can sometimes correct itself. But there are many who will experience more severe symptoms that go undiagnosed. This is because some symptoms of TMJ Syndrome can masquerade as other problems. If you have been suffering from aches and pains that have continued to go undiagnosed or seem to have no known cause, then you may be suffering from TMJ Disorder and not realize it. Here are a few surprising ways that TMJ Syndrome can present itself. If you have been suffering from any of these symptoms then finding a neuromuscular dentist to further evaluate you may help get you on the road to recovery.
Aches and Pains
When you think of your TMJ, you may think that if it was misaligned then the pain would be limited to your face where the joint is located. However, many times a misaligned TMJ can cause migraines, and neck, back and shoulder pain. There may be shooting pains down your neck or back and you can develop a soreness in your neck as well. Also, headaches at the back of the head can be common with TMJ syndrome.
Dizziness and Ear Problems
If the misalignment in the TMJ is pushing on your ear, then you can have symptoms that seem like inner ear problems. You may experience symptoms such as ear pain, “stuffy” ears, buzzing or ringing in your ear. And since your inner ear is responsible for your sense of balance, you may experience dizziness or vertigo symptoms. If you have been experiencing these type of problems and there doesn’t appear to be an ear infection that is culpable, then your TMJ may be the root of the problem.
Numbness and Stiffness
TMJ Syndrome has also been known to cause numbness in arms and tingling sensations. If the TMJ problem is causing your neck to also be misaligned because of the way you are holding your jaw, then you could be pressing on the nerves in the neck that are connected to the arms and hands. This is where the numbness, stiffness and tingling could be coming from.
Blurry vision, pain around the eyes and watering eyes are other surprising ways that TMJ syndrome can present itself. You may feel pressure behind your eyes or suffer from light sensitivity.
It is actually pretty amazing all that our TMJ can affect in our body, further showing how interconnected our bodies are. If you have been having strange symptoms that seem to have no other explanation, or if you have been treated for your symptoms but they seem to always come back, it may be that your TMJ is to blame. Seeing a neuromuscular dentist, like Dr. Eddie Siman of Millennium Dental, that can properly diagnose and treat you may be the key to a new beginning for you.