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Do You Have TMJ?

tmj methuen maTMJ, more correctly known as TMD or temporomandibular disorder, is the overarching category of medical problems with your jaw, its joint, and the muscles that help it work. It has not been determined what exactly causes TMD, but it can be a huge problem. You use your jaw to eat, to talk, and to perform a number of other daily functions, and so when it’s not working properly, it is inconvenient and painful. So how can you tell for sure if you have TMD?

Who Is at Risk?

Unlike many health ailments, TMJ more often affects younger people, between the ages of 20 and 40. It is also more common in women.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

Obviously, TMJ could cause any number or combination of these symptoms, and experiencing these symptoms does not mean that you are suffering from TMD. However, if you are consistently living with one or more of these symptoms, it might be time to talk to your dentist about TMD.

Pain

If your jaw is tender of painful, especially when you open your mouth to chew or speak, something is wrong. However, this pain can spread beyond just your jaw. TMD can affect your entire face, and even your neck and shoulders.

Ear Problems

TMJ is often mistaken for an ear infection, as it can often cause many different ear problems. From pain, to hearing loss, to ringing, to dizziness (often a sign of imbalance in the inner ear), TMJ likes to disguise itself and cause many other problems.

Strange Sounds

Speaking of your ears ringing, if you notice your jaw starts to make strange noises, you probably aren’t imagining it. One of the most common symptoms of TMJ are sounds like clicking, grating, popping, or grinding. It might even be painful, but it does not have to be in order to be caused by TMJ.

 Other Symptoms

Other symptoms may range from your jaw locking or getting stuck in an open or closed position, trouble swallowing, headaches and more.

 If you think you might have a TMJ disorder, talk to your dentist. Dr. Donna Kalil will know what to do.