Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains TMJ Symptoms

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 25, 2012

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains TMJ Symptoms

TMJ is a devastating condition that can negatively affect your health and happiness. TMJ disorder involves a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull, and allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. When this joint is inflamed, irritated, or otherwise injured, patients can experience a range of unwanted symptoms that keep them from eating, speaking, and smiling normally.


Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include jaw soreness, headaches, and jaw clicking. These problems are annoying, and they can actually keep patients from eating and speaking normally. It’s important to realize that, if left untreated, TMJ dysfunction can actually escalate and become more disruptive. Left untreated, your TMJ problems may become more severe and simultaneously more difficult to treat.


TMJ disorder can cause chronic, debilitating headaches. For some patients these headaches are nearly constant, while other patients find that their headaches pop up sporadically without warning.  TMJ dysfunction causes you to carry an increased amount of stress and tension in your head and neck, contributing to painful headaches.


Another common problem associated with untreated TMJ disorder is dental degradation. One cause of TMJ dysfunction is an uneven bite surface. When you cannot fit your teeth comfortably together, you may grind or clench your teeth, exacerbating TMJ problems. Over time this behavior can actually cause your teeth to age and wear down prematurely. Patients with severe grinding and clenching habits can even crack or chip their teeth, often when they are sleeping.


The constant strain your temporomandibular joint will also compound over time, leading to more pain and often decreased jaw mobility. Some TMJ patients are unable to fully open their mouths or move their jaws comfortably from side to side. Because the jaw joint is under so much pressure, it becomes stiff and inflexible.


As you can see chronic TMJ disorder leads to a host of problems that can be disheartening and dangerous. It’s best to have TMJ dysfunction treated as soon as you notice the first signs of trouble. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists help patients avoid the long-term problems of TMJ disorder by effectively treating TMJ problems in their earliest stages. Prompt treatment is key—speak with your dental professional if you think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder.


With proper preventative care and prompt treatment TMJ disorder can be effectively treated and managed. Give our TMJ dental office a call for more information or to discuss your case in greater detail—

(630) 733-1624.