TMJ means temporomandibular joint. It connects the mandible, the lower jaw, to the temporal bone, the skull, in the area in front of the ear. TMJ disorders create a painful or uncomfortable condition that affects patients for years. Types of cures for the condition include mouthpieces to adjust the bite of the individual and prevent bruxism, surgery and massage. Recent recommendations note that a neck and back massage might be the most beneficial of all the treatments and is far less drastic than surgery.
Types of pain from problems with the temporomandibular joint include migraine headaches, cluster headaches, pain in the forehead and shooting pain on the back of the head. It also can create a sensitivity of the scalp so that even a light touch creates pain. TMJ pain is sometimes mistaken for sinus infections because the pain often occurs in the same area. Sufferers of TMJ also have pain at the location of the joint.
Difficulty with Easy Movement
TMJ also affects the movement of the mouth, jaw and tongue. If you suffer from TMJ you might feel pain to the muscles in the cheek. Occasionally there's a difficulty controlling the movement of the tongue. There is a lot of pain in the cheek and facial area.
One problem caused by TMJ is the limited ability to fully open the mouth. There is also a tendency for those with the problem to notice a clicking in their jaw when they open or close their mouth. The bite may not be smooth but have a jerk in it when opening or closing. The bite of the individual with TMJ may be lopsided and deviate to either side. Sometimes there's a shudder or other uncontrolled jaw movement.
TMJ may be one of the causes of bruxism which is tooth grinding. This wears the teeth, cracks them and causes them pain, not to mention the noise that keeps partners awake. TMJ also frequently causes tooth clenching. Sufferers of TMJ also has tooth pain that comes either from clenching, grinding or tightened muscles pinching the primary nerve to the teeth. Those afflicted often feel they have a mouth full of cavities. Often dentists attempt to correct the bite of the sufferer with no avail.
Those with TMJ often notice they have tinnitus. The sounds they hear include buzzing, ringing, roaring and hissing inside their heads. Some, however, simply may have diminished hearing. The ears of the TMJ sufferer may feel full or have pain. Occasionally, those with ear involvement show problems with their balance, and many have dizziness.
TMJ victims sometimes find it difficult to swallow. They may feel just a tightness in the throat, pain or simply have laryngitis. Normally there's pain in the neck. Sometimes the TMJ causes fluctuations in the voice.
Neck pain noted earlier is part of TMJ involvement but it also may be in conjunction with pain in the shoulders. Sometimes the pain radiates down the back. TMJ sufferers may have symptoms that also involve the arms and fingers. This may cause them to have arm and finger pain, numbness or tingling. Often there's stiffness in the neck and upper back.