Some of the numerous signs and symptoms may include clicking, popping and grating noises of the jaw joints. The tender paining temporal muscles on the side of the head. Tender and sore muscles behind the head and neck as well as upper shoulders can be part of this problem. Muscles under the chin, the facial muscles (side of face), limited mouth opening, loose teeth, clenching, postural problems, paresthesia of fingertips and hands, nervousness, insomnia are just a few of the over 120 different signs and symptoms of TMJ. What about those cases with non-specific facial pain, tenderness on palpation of various sites of the head and neck? Teeth sensitivities and aches, ear congestion feelings, pain behind the eyes, tingling in the arms and fingers, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc., all relate to the dental aspect of TMJ. Many of these symptoms are related to and are associated with the living tissues that effect the mandibular position and in turn effect upper to lower teeth relationships and vice versa.
If you are experiencing such and are not getting better you are not alone. These type of symptoms are signs of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) which are a common problem among 10 million people in the USA. Approximately 1 in 27 or 3.68% of all people in USA experience these types of symptoms daily (National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research). Many TMD patients have received numerous listed medical and dental treatments with little to no effective relief of their pain. Many of the treatments have been recommended based on the doctor’s preference and not based on sound objective measured scientific evidence for both safety and effectiveness. Some treatments have been tried, some invasive, irreversible, and made the patient worse, leaving the patient in a dilemma of financial loss, disappointment, depression and despair.
This list of subjective symptoms is by no means exhaustive, but does provide a good idea of the nature of the complaints that are often made by those suffering from TMD.
Some of the symptoms and issues caused by TMD are not associated with a jaw disorder and are therefore left untreated. Because of the complex relationship between the jaw muscles and the nerves of the face that travel nearby, it is important to isolate whether your problems are caused by TMD.