Chronic headaches or facial pain, discomfort when you eat, or unusual noises when you move your jaw aren’t something to ignore. These can all be signs of an issue with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint that connects your jaw to your face.
Between talking and eating, the TMJ on either side of your head has a lot of work to do. That’s why it’s important to treat any issues causing TMJ disorder. At our office in Downtown Los Angeles, Silva A. Arejian, DDS, does exactly that. As a TMJ specialist, she can help you find relief from any unwelcome symptoms you’re experiencing.
But how do you know if you have TMJ disorder? Here are four telltale signs.
The muscles that support your TMJ connect to the sides of your face and the top of your head. When there’s tension in the muscles along your TMJ, it can cause strain for other muscles in your head, ultimately resulting in TMJ headaches.
These headaches feel similar to general headaches. If you have recurrent headaches but don’t know the cause, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Arejian if it could be TMJ.
Face, ear, or neck pain
Similarly, issues in your TMJ can cause discomfort that radiates outward, ultimately causing pain or tenderness in your:
Visit our office if you have persistent, aching pain in any of these areas.
When your TMJ isn’t functioning the way it should, you might have difficulty when you bite down or try to chew. You might also notice that your jaw seems to lock up.
Ultimately, if eating is a challenge because your jaw doesn’t feel like it’s working properly, it’s highly likely you’re living with TMJ.
Noises when you open or close your jaw
Your TMJ is supposed to act like a sliding hinge. But if it’s not aligned properly or has another problem, its movement might not be seamless. As a result, you might feel an odd sensation or hear a noise as you move your jaw. People with TMJ often say their jaw movement sounds like:
If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms, we have good news: TMJ is treatable. At our office, Dr. Arejian can explore a broad range of treatment options with you, from lifestyle changes and nightguards to injections and surgery. She works with you to find the simplest treatment to bring you relief.