Recognizing the Signs of a TMJ Disorder

Jaw tenderness. Allover facial pain upon waking. Pain radiating near your ear. All of these seemingly unrelated problems can be attributed to a single condition that affects approximately 10 million Americans: TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.

This joint attaches your jawbone to your skull at the temporal bones, which sit in front of your ears. When you think about it, this joint is in motion nearly all of your waking hours, whether you’re talking, eating, or yawning. 

Dr. Nazila Satvat and the Brightleaf Dental team can treat your TMJ disorder with compassion and create a care plan that’s customized to you. Since there are many ways TMJ manifests, it’s imperative to get a handle on knowing the wide range of TMJ signs and symptoms, and seek help if you need it.  

What is TMJ?

When you develop TMJ disorder, it means that your jaw and your facial muscles that direct its movement are somehow not in sync or aligned correctly. It may sound like a simple problem, but TMJ can cause many types of pain and discomfort, some of which might seem completely unrelated. 

How do I know if I have TMJ?

An unusually large number of disparate symptoms can point to TMJ:

Your jaw can even get locked into a position, you can experience tinnitus (ringing in your ears) or suffer with facial muscle fatigue.

TMJ is a copycat disorder of sorts, meaning that it can look like many other things, from gum disease to a sinus problem, so it’s important to talk to Dr. Satvat about these symptoms — whether you’re suffering from one or many — so she can properly investigate them and rule out other conditions.

I was diagnosed with TMJ — now what?

The reason it’s critical to know the many symptoms of TMJ is because the sooner you can get diagnosed, the sooner Dr. Satvat can treat you, and you can gain relief. 

Dr. Satvat will look at the possible cause or causes of your TMJ, which might include clenching your teeth or grinding them (either while asleep or unconsciously while awake), living with arthritis, or sustaining a jaw injury of some sort. 

If your pain is persistent, worsens, or you start experiencing new symptoms, it’s likely that you need more than over-the-counter pain medications, which can help if you have a simple, mild case of TMJ.

If you suffer with worsening or already severe TMJ, Dr. Satvat offers several advanced treatments, including prescription medications, physical therapy, and pain medication that’s injected where your pain is localized. 

In some instances, Dr. Satvat recommends surgery that corrects structural problems of your jaw. 

Learn how getting the right TMJ treatment can be a game changer

Everyone at Brightleaf Dental is dedicated to treating your TMJ quickly and effectively. Call our office at 424-243-0099 or schedule an appointment with us online

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