Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains How to Recognize Common Signs of Temporomandibular Joint Problems

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jul 31, 2012

Many patients come in to our Elmhurst dental office complaining of symptoms of TMJ disorder without even realizing that they may be suffering from this incredibly common problem. We want you to be able to seek effective treatment for TMJ problems as soon as possible, so in an effort to educate our patients about what TMJ disorder looks and feels like, we’re going to review common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction in this blog post.

The Temporomandibular Joint attaches the jawbone to the skull, it allows you to speak, chew, and move your mouth from side to side. If this joint becomes irritated or inflamed, you’ll begin to notice signs of a problem with your jaw.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about possible treatment for TMJ problems:

Jaw soreness

Jaw joint stiffness

Regular headaches, especially upon waking

Shifting or uneven bite

Stuff or “locking” jaw

Ear or temple pain

As your bite becomes sore and stiff, it can lead to a number of problems with your bite. Some patients experience TMJ symptoms to such a degree that they become unable to eat and speak easily. The best thing that you as a patient can do is to seek treatment from a dental professional right away. The earlier these symptoms are addressed the less likely it will be that you end up suffering from long-term or difficult to treat jaw dysfunction. If you or someone you know experiences chronic jaw problems, don’t wait to get treatment!

Once identified, there are a number of treatment solutions for TMJ problems. Your dentist may determine that your bite is uneven and rectify your dental alignment. You may wear an oral appliance at night to cushion your bite and relieve some of the pressure on your jaw. Our Elmhurst TMJ dental office uses simple, unobtrusive TMJ treatment options to keep you smiling for years to come.