The temporomandibular joint works similarly to a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. You will experience pain at the jaw joint and associated muscles when you have TMJ disorders. The cause of this condition is unclear and can occur due to many factors, such as jaw injury or arthritis. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this condition include:
Pain can originate from the jaw joints due to inflammation. The pain can also be due to injury to the joint, arthritis of the disc, or a displaced disc. To minimize the pain, you should avoid chewing hard foods or anything that puts too much pressure on the joints and muscles.
You can feel pain in the cheeks and temples when chewing food or talking. Most people complain of stiffness or soreness early in the morning. Clenching or grinding of the teeth can make the pain worse. To relieve such pain, consider wearing a nightguard when sleeping to allow your muscles to relax. Muscle pain will cause problems when chewing food. You can also experience tenderness or pain in the jaw or the temporomandibular joint.
You can hear a grating or popping sound when closing or opening your mouth. The sound is caused mainly by the unstable disks in the jaw joint. The sound can be accompanied by severe pain, and it would be best to visit an oral surgeon immediately.
Headache and Ear Pain
TMJ disorders can also cause severe headaches and ear pain. When you grind or clench your teeth, the joint muscles can tense up and cause pain in other areas, such as the head or ear. If your headache is associated with pain while chewing food, the probable cause is TMJ disorders. Avoiding clenching your teeth is the best way to minimize this pain. You can also try exercising your jaw.
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