The list of TMJ symptoms is varied and, unfortunately for those experiencing pain, some symptoms of temporomandibular joint pain are symptoms of other medical problems. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms to a point where they are persistent or interfere with the quality of your life, contact your physician to get to the bottom of your problem and back on the road to recovery.
One of the symptoms of TMJ is difficulty chewing and eating. You may experience pain or be unable to open or close your mouth as easily as you should. You also might hear a clicking or popping noise when you try to open or close your jaw. However, if you are only clicking and not feeling any pain, you are unlikely to have TMJ.
Associated with this is having an uncomfortable bite. In fact, you bite might actually be uneven because teeth on your upper and lower jaw are meeting when they shouldn't be.
You may also feel pain around your jaws and in your teeth. Your ears may ache. You may also get TMJ headaches. The pain may actually travel down into your neck and shoulders.
Seeing Your Physician
You have several treatment options if you do, in fact, have TMJ. For example, your physician may suggest over-the-counter naproxen. However, you may get a prescription for drugs such as muscle relaxants or antidepressants. You might also have to wear a bite guard at night to prevent you from grinding or clenching your teeth as you sleep.
Certain types of exercise may help you get rid of the symptoms of TMJ. These exercises include stretching exercises for the jaw, exercises to improve posture or yoga.
In addition, you may want to try mediation or visualization, a practice where you imagine yourself in a pleasant situation. Mediation and visualization help to reduce your levels of stress. Stress can be one of the causes of TMJ.
In some cases, people need to get dental work to get their bites back into shape. Occasionally, TJM is severe enough to warrant surgery.