Normally, your body shouldn’t make clicking or popping sounds, especially your jaw joints. These sounds are a common sign of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMD or TMJ. Along with joint sounds, other symptoms include:
- Jaw, face, neck, and/or shoulder pain
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Earache without an infection or ringing ears
- Sensitive teeth without dental issues
- Stiff jaw that won’t open or close comfortably
- Tingling hands and feet
If you experience any of these symptoms, call Dr. Michael Frith at 636-394-5200. TMJ treatment transcends traditional dentistry, which makes finding the right practitioner difficult. At the TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of St. Louis, Dr. Michael and Dr. Jeremy Frith, our father-son duo, are accredited professionals. They use the latest technology to diagnose TMJ at the root cause, conduct non-invasive treatment, and monitor progress for optimal results.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are among the most elaborate joints in the human body.
Located at the point where your lower jaw attaches to your skull, you can identify the joint by placing your finger right in front of your ear and moving your mouth. Do you feel the motion? That’s the TMJ. This joint is the hinge on which your lower jaw, or mandible, opens and closes or moves side to side.
A small, shock-absorbing disc floats between the bones that make up each TMJ. Muscles, tendons, and nerves surround the joint. If the disc sustains damage or the bones are not properly seated, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may occur as a result.
Difficulty often occurs when diagnosing TMD. Many people are not aware that their symptoms stem back to a TMJ issue. Causes and risk factors include:
- Impact to the face
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- On rare occasions, night guards can exasperate the issue.
In the absence of these causes, you may still suffer from a temporomandibular disorder. Here’s a closer look at common TMD symptoms.
5 Signs of TMD
Clicking or Popping Sounds
Joint sounds don’t always signal dysfunction, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. However, “the difference between healthy jaw movement and TMD is said to be only one millimeter.” The difference may be small, but the stakes are high when it comes damaging the body part you use to talk and eat. Contact our office if you hear any sounds when moving your jaw.
Pain in the Jaw, Face, Neck or Shoulders
TMD can affect the joint itself, as well as the surrounding muscles. Thus, pain and discomfort can extend beyond the jaw, impacting the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders. Stress can create or intensify the problem, leading you to clench or grind your teeth in your sleep. It’s important to seek help from dentists who understand the many factors that worsen dental health, such as sleep habits.
Sensitive Teeth, No Dental Issues
Do you brush and floss daily? Do you visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups? Even people with excellent dental hygiene can suffer from TMD. This disorder does not always relate to a dental health problem, such as missing teeth causing stress on the joints. Dr. Michael or Dr. Jeremy Frith will conduct a thorough exam and determine whether your symptoms are caused by dental health or another issue.
Chronic Headaches or Earaches
Seek the counsel of your regular doctor if you endure chronic headaches or earaches. The cause may be a simple ear or sinus infection. However, if your pain continues, visit the TMJ and Sleep Therapy Center of St. Louis to see if TMD is the source.
If the disc between your lower jaw bone and skull deteriorates, opening and closing your mouth can feel uncomfortable and clunky. In extreme cases, the jaw can lose all mobility and remain locked until treated. Take action at the first sign of TMD to lower the risk of experiencing this.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, put Dr. Frith’s number in your phone right now: 636-394-5200. Then, check out the TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of St. Louis to find out how our team can help you find relief from pain with TMJ treatment.