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TMJ Common Symptoms & Causes

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury to the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the connection between the jawbone and the skull.

The injured temporomandibular joint leads to pain with chewing, clicking, crackling, and popping of the jaw; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches, including migraines; tooth grinding (bruxism); Eustachian tube dysfunction; and sometimes dislocation of the temporomandibular joint. Temporomandibular joint syndrome is also known as temporomandibular joint disorder.


What are TMJ syndrome symptoms and signs? The main symptom of TMJ syndrome is pain in the jaw joint. This joint is located just in front of the ear, and pain associated with TMJ syndrome may involve the face, eye, forehead, ear, or neck. Signs and symptoms of TMJ syndrome include the following:
Pain or tenderness in the jaw, especially at the area of the joint
Popping/clicking of the jaw
Pain that feels like a toothache
Ear pain or sounds of cracking in the ears


Continued:
Ringing or popping sounds in the ears (tinnitus) or a sense of fullness in the ears
Headaches, including migraines
Blurred vision
Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
Muscle spasms in the jaw
Facial pain, mouth pain, jaw pain, cheek pain, or chin numbness or tingling


Continued:
Pain at the base of the tongue
Pain, swelling, or a lump in the temple area
Difficulty chewing
Shoulder pain
Locking or dislocation of the jaw (usually after widely yawning), referred to as lockjaw
Dizziness or vertigo


What causes TMJ syndrome? The causes of TMJ syndrome are not completely understood. Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. It is not clear whether some of these causes directly lead to TMJ syndrome or if they are a result of the disorder. Causes may include
misalignment (malocclusion) of or trauma to the teeth or jaw,
teeth grinding (bruxism),
poor posture,
stress or anxiety,
arthritis and other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders,

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