TMJ Disorder Symptoms

Jaw Pain, Headaches, and Other Tempomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Symptoms

Jaw pain is the most common symptom of tempomandibular disorders (TMD), which makes sense because these are disorders of your tempomandibular  joint (TMJ). The pain in the jaw is usually dull and aching, and your jaw muscles may feel very tender.

In addition to jaw pain, there are several other TMD symptoms to look for, including:

  • stiff or tender jaw muscles

  • an uneven bite (this can change how your upper and lower teeth fit together
  • difficulty chewing and/or discomfort while chewing
  • ear pain and/or pressure
  • headaches
  • painful clicking, grating, or popping in the jaw, especially when opening or closing your mouth
  • problems with opening the mouth
  • radiating pain from your jaw to your face, neck, or shoulders
  • stiffness in the jaw muscles that may cause your jaw to feel stuck or as if it were locked in place

In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience dizziness, ringing in the ears (known as tinnitus in the medical world), and vision problems. However, these symptoms aren't as common with TMJ disorders.

Of course, not everyone with a TMJ disorder will have all of these symptoms. Some people may have numerous TMJ disorder symptoms, and it's also possible to have a TMJ disorder and not have any pain at all.

Also, keep in mind that some occasional discomfort in the jaw is common for many people, and just because you have jaw pain doesn't automatically mean you have a TMJ disorder. But jaw pain not associated with a TMJ disorder typically goes away on its own, unless it is a symptom of another undiagnosed medical problem.

If you've had jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms for several weeks or months and the pain is severe, call your clinician or dentist right away. Be sure to keep track of all of your symptoms so you can discuss them with your doctor.

Updated on: 11/19/15
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TMJ Disorders Diagnosis