When you speak, eat, or yawn, your mouth relies on the temporomandibular joint to open and close. This joint connects the lower and upper jaws and serves a major purpose in your daily life. If it is damaged or injured, you could experience chronic pain and discomfort as a result of what’s known as a TMJ disorder. Since the symptoms vary from person to person, it can be hard to tell whether you have this condition. However, there are some common signs of a problem with this important joint.
Pain & Soreness
When the temporomandibular joint is not hinged correctly, it can lead tenderness and aching in the face; acute pain when you move your jaw to eat or yawn; or persistent headaches and earaches. The pain can range from a temporary condition to a chronic one. Some patients find that their TMJ disorder goes away on its own, but prolonged discomfort should be addressed by a dentistry professional.
Difficulty Moving Jaw
If you notice your jaws moving differently than usual, you may have a TMJ disorder. Many people experience a locking sensation or have trouble opening and closing their mouths. Another possible sign of a joint-related problem is when your bite is no longer aligned properly, and you cannot reposition your jaw to correct it. A misaligned bite is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to sleep apnea, a condition characterized by airway obstructions that interfere with breathing.
You might be able to hear noises that indicate the temporomandibular joint is struggling to work properly. Often, people will notice a popping sensation near the ear, where the joint is located. There might also be an audible click when you speak or chew.
If jaw problems are causing severe pain or interrupting your daily life, visit The Healthy Smile Center in Ashtabula, OH. After diagnosing the issue, these dental care experts will treat it by teaching relaxation techniques, recommending medications, or providing a custom night guard. Learn more about their services online or call (440) 992-2700 to schedule an appointment.