Do You Suffer From TMJ Disorder?
You may not know it, but all those aches and pains you’ve been battling through for years— migraines, shoulder pain, jaw soreness, shoulder pain, and facial pain—are connected to one source, the jaw. It may not feel like it, but your jaw, like 70 percent of other Americans, is misaligned, causing an uneven bite and yes—TMJ Disorder. Though the aforementioned issues may seem unrelated, they are all common TMJ symptoms and may very well be the reason why they continue to hinder your every waking minute.
Migraines & Heachaches
Quit popping that 800 mg of Ibuprofen, Imitrex, or Oxy like candy; it’s time to seek a more permanent solution to your chronic migraine headaches once and for all. From his three decades of experiences a neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Eddie Siman has noticed that one of the most common symptoms expressed by TMJ Disorder patients are chronic tension headaches misdiagnosed as migraines, with subsequent symptoms like visual disturbances and extreme sensitivity to light. Having diagnosed TMJ disorder as the root of countless headache patients, Dr. Siman has provided long-lasting relief to their headaches through natural and holistic processes, without any surgery or medication needed. Because in many severe cases, doctors misdiagnose the cause of headaches, some patients are given no option other than to take pain pills that provide only temporary relief. But a simple understanding of the relationship between your headaches and jaw could go a long way toward finally wiping away the daily pain in your head for good.
Because the Temporomandibular joint is so close to the face (between the ear and lower jaw), it is possible for a TMJ patient to experience excruciating facial pain. If you have a ‘stabbing’ pain behind your eyes that hinders your concentration and vision, pressure on your sinuses that has tricked you into thinking you have an infection or tenderness in the cheek and jaw areas where the slightest touch leaves you squirming in discomfort, then it’s possible that you suffer from TMJ disorder.
Ear Congestion / Ringing Ears
The temporomandibular joint is located directly next to your ear. They even share the same muscles and nerves. If you experience a screaming ring or deep pain, it may be because of the TMJ Disorder you didn’t know you had. Ringing in the ears or tinnitus, one of the most common ear-related symptoms, may be a result of TMJ disorder. This incessant ringing in the ears can occur when there is trauma inflicted upon the jaw and ear area, when the surrounding muscles of the TMJ are strained, or when the fibrous disc in the joint is dislocated from repetitive stress. At Dr. Siman’s Los Angeles private TMJ practice, we have had TMJ disorder patients report other ear-related symptoms like ear congestion, ear pain, infection, muffled hearing, and even head congestion. If you suffer from any of these, it may be time to reconcile the relationship between your TMJ and ear.
Neck, Shoulder &Upper Back Pain
The bones, joints, muscles, and nerves of the face and upper body have a complex, intricate relationship. A single component within this group cannot operate without the proper functioning of the others. As the saying goes, “a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.” Yes, this is most certainly true when it comes to the temporomandibular joint in association with the neck, shoulders and upper back. They all work together, relieving strain on the jaw and surrounding muscles, but when the TMJ is out of alignment—strained or damaged—the neck and other surrounding regions will suffer. When an individual has TMJ disorder, the sore, tight and contracted muscles encompassing the joint will cause the head and shoulders to tilt in a forward position, resulting in the neck, shoulder and back muscles compensating, and ultimately straining in pain. Many are unaware of the source behind their upper body aches and discomfort, but an uneven bite and TMJ maybe it.
An unbalanced bite or TMJ may be a major contributor to bad posture. It may sound odd, but if you tend to slouch and have an uneven bite, this may not be a coincidence. When the muscles surrounding your dysfunctional TMJ become over-contracted, it pulls the muscles that hold up your head, creating a forward-leaning posture as though you are slouching. This slouching action creates a ripple effect down your body, pulling and stressing your face, neck, shoulder and back muscles. Postural complications as a result of TMJ can even cause one shoulder or hip to dip lower than the other. When your entire body is not lined up properly, you may find yourself increasingly sluggish and tired throughout your day. You may feel out of balance, out of control, and without strength. If any of these describe you and your posture, it may be time to consider if TMJ disorder is the problem.
Jaw Clicking & Popping
If your jaw is popping or locking, you may have a common case of TMJ disorder. With these TMJ symptoms, it’s pretty straightforward; when your bite is uneven or any other of the common causes of TMJ are in play, the TMJ disc is displaced or damaged which causes the joint spaces to become closed. As a result, you may experience clicking, grinding or popping upon opening or closing your mouth or while doing common activities such as eating or yawning. In addition to your jaw becoming stuck or locked out of place, you’re probably suffering through some pain or tenderness in your jaw joint and may even be struggling with self-consciousness due to a visual misalignment. Don’t second guess these obvious TMJ symptoms; come to Dr. Eddie Siman and quiet the discomforting click of your jaw.
If you suffer from sleep apnea and are equipped at night with a face-smothering C-PAP machine, there’s a good possibility that you may also suffer from TMJ disorder but are unaware of it. If your temporomandibular joint is out of alignment, the positioning of the tongue in your mouth is heavily impacted by the alignment of your upper and bottom teeth (vice versa during childhood development). So when there is a strain of the TMJ as a result of misalignment, the tongue is forced into an awkward position, blocking the airway. Additionally, the lower jaw may fall backward, further restricting breathing as you lie down.