Why Does TMJ Cause Pain?

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The most common and well-known symptom of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is pain. Patients often report pain in the jaw joint itself, as well as the head, neck, face, shoulders, ears, and teeth. Because of the reach TMJ has, it can be hard for both patients and experts to identify the cause, but the disorder also typically comes with other symptoms, including jaw lock, and grinding or clicking when moving the mouth. However, these symptoms can also cause pain.

The cause of TMJ-related pain can be complicated to source, and experts are still unsure of what underlying factor causes the disorder in the first place. It is typically because the displacement of a damaged disk in the jaw joint puts pressure on the muscle on the side of the face that covers it, as well as the nerves in the area. When the nerves are affected, pain is always the result.

Fortunately, our TMJ dentist employs many different treatments to get rid of the pain, any other symptoms you may have, and possibly even eliminate the disorder all together. First-line treatments include lifestyle changes, such as reducing sources of stress and lightly stretching the jaw muscles. Many patients see results when using a splint or mouth guard. We will work with you to find the best treatment for your TMJ pain as soon as possible.

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TMJ and Nasal Congestion

 

0426Though TMJ is centered in the jaw joints, the effects of the disorder can reach far. Patients often report pain or discomfort in the head, neck, shoulders, teeth, and ears. These symptoms can often cause difficulty when diagnosing TMJ, as they can indicate other issues. For example, headaches can indicate an issue with vision, and pain in the teeth can obviously be due to poor dental health. Like these examples, patients sometimes come in with chronic nasal congestion.

TMJ can cause nasal congestion due to the fact that it is a common case of mechanisms of referral. This means that the site of the symptoms are not necessary the origin of the symptom. The muscles near the jaw joints in particular are responsible for transferring symptoms to the nasal area.

Tight, inflamed, and/or fatigued muscles are often caused by overuse or bruxism – chronic clenching or grinding of the jaw. Our expert will likely recommend some simple remedies for TMJ pain at first, such as applying warm compresses, stress reduction, and certain stretches. If these tactics do not work, mouth guards or splints, orthodontics, and physical therapy may help. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.

If you are suffering from sinus congestion without indication of any other cause, visit our TMJ expert today.