You use your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) thousands of times per day, and chance are, you do not think twice about it. Whether you are chewing gum, carrying on a conversation, or eating a big meal, the joint is hard at work facilitating the smooth opening and closing of the jaw. For most people, this happens without incident. For others, however, there could be complications. In this post, we will cover five signs you might have a condition that could require TMJ treatment in Houston.
1. You Have Pain
TMJ pain can range from mild aching to excessive discomfort. In some cases, it may even lead to difficulty chewing, talking, or performing other normal joint-related activities. You may first notice it as jaw tenderness – almost as if though your jaw is somehow ‘tired’. Over time, however, the condition may worsen causing pain that radiates into your temples, around your ear, and even into your neck and shoulders.
2. Your Jaw Locks in Place
A locked jaw can be a frightening experience – especially if your jaw is locked in the ‘closed’ position. This can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, or it could be the result of a gradually worsening TMJ disorder. Even if your jaw does not completely lock opened or closed, it may still ‘catch’ or seem to get stuck while opening and closing.
3. You Have Ringing in the Ears
Tinnitus is often referred to as a ringing, roaring, or even hissing sound in the ears. It can be a symptom associated with TMJ, as an inflamed temporomandibular joint can affect the balance of the nearby eardrum. For some, the sound can loud and chronic. For others, it may be sporadic and soft. Often, the sounds are relieved or aggravated by either opening or closing the jaw.
4. You Have Chronic Headaches
If you chew gum or perhaps even clench your teeth at night, you are repeatedly tightening the muscles in your jaw. These muscles are connected to other muscles throughout the head and neck area. Ultimately, this can create pain that radiates into your skull, which ultimately may result in chronic headaches, as well as other types of pain, such as ear or shoulder pain.
5. You Notice Popping or ‘Clicking’ in Your Jaw
If you notice a popping, clicking, or grating sound in your jaw when you open and close it, you are not alone. Many people deal with this common annoyance, which can be a sign of a TMJ disorder. It is typically caused by disc dislocation within the jaw. Although typically painless, clicking, popping, or grating can also be accompanied by jaw pain, which indicates the need for professional evaluation.
Should You See a Dentist for TMJ Treatment in Houston?
There are many locals who wonder if they need treatment, and if so, where they should seek TMJ treatment in Houston. If you are concerned about your jaw health or any symptoms you may be experiencing, it is always advisable to see a dentist for a consultation. However, you should be especially quick to seek dental treatment if you begin noticing serious symptoms, such as jaw pain, tenderness, or a locked jaw. For more information about Houston TMJ treatment, contact the team here at Briter Dental today.