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What Is TMJ Disorder?

TMD, commonly called TMJ, is a real condition caused by disturbances in the action of the jaw. Often jaw problems are only a symptom, secondary to a greater problem affecting the body, much like a fever is secondary to the common flu. In the absence of an acute injury to the head or face, the primary cause of jaw problems can sometimes be an unidentified sleep breathing issue, sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea. Proper diagnosis and emphasis on origin rather than symptoms is key to successfully treating this disorder. Call us today to fix an appointment with our doctor experienced in TMJ treatment.

person holding jaw because it hurts

How Do We Diagnose TMJ Disorder?

Before an initial exam, will fill out comprehensive forms which include a health questionnaire and sleepiness scale, to help Dr. Lisa DiGioia better understand and diagnose their underlying issues. During each new patient appointment, our assistants take photos and measurements that relate to the jaw, neck, and head. Dr.DiGioia then performs a physical examination and motor reflex testing to help create a customized plan. If needed, testing, such as a full head CBCT scan may be ordered. To learn more about your treatment options, get in touch with us.

Symptoms of TMJ

A TMJ disorder could begin with a jaw injury and the condition can worsen over time when other injuries or stress adds up in the same place. This results in pain and discomfort. Some of the symptoms of TMJ disorders are:

  • Pain in the face of jaw region
  • Inability to chew comfortably
  • Inability to open mouth fully/comfortably
  • Clicking or popping noises in jaw
  • Neck or upper back pain
  • Ear stuffiness
  • Ear ringing
  • Feeling of something stuck in your throat
  • Undiagnosed dental pain
  • Headaches
  • Forward head posture
  • Migraines
  • Pain at the base of your skull
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling of hands/fingers
  • Feeling of restlessness or unrest
  • Anxiety often accompanied by chronic pain

Consequences of TMJ/TMD

A TMJ disorder often leads to several consequences, including:

  • Increased or continued pain of jaw or face
  • Loss of ability to chew effectively
  • Inability to open your mouth
  • Increased noise or no noise
  • Increased or spreading of back pain
  • Loss of hearing
  • Choking
  • Unnecessary tooth extraction
  • Increased frequency and intensity of headaches
  • Loss of balance
  • Permanent loss of function of hands/fingers
  • Anxiety, depression
  • TMJ is closely related to obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep breathing disorders

Call Us to Schedule an Appointment