Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder Posted on October 3, 2012 by trinhdm in Dental Office Patients may notice a number of signals that indicate the possibility of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which is a problem with the jaw joint. These symptoms include persistent jaw pain, morning headaches or earaches and those who experience locking of the jaw or popping or cracking sounds while chewing or yawning. When patients notice potential TMJ symptoms and those problems begin to interfere with quality of life, it’s a good idea to head to the dental office to get a better idea of what’s going on with the jaw. The dentist can also give you guidance as to possible treatment. If you suspect that you have TMJ disorder based on your symptoms, your dentist will examine your jaw thoroughly in order to reach a more conclusive diagnosis. The dentist will look at the way the jaw fits together when you bite down and visually inspect the entire mouth’s structure. X-rays are also helpful in diagnosing TMJ disorders, as they give the dentist an internal perspective as well. The human jaw is a complex joint, composed of several muscles and tendons in addition to the maxilla and mandible, which are the upper and lower jaw bones, respectively. While this structure facilitates the various movements that the jaw needs to make, it also presents the opportunity for numerous problems to develop if all of the elements aren’t working in concert. In the examination, the dentist will determine the most likely cause of your specific TMJ problems, which is useful in identifying the treatment that is most likely to be effective. Many patients will respond to simple painkillers, while others may need more intensive interventions, even surgery in some cases. Stress is often the culprit in TMJ disorders, so stress management techniques may also be useful for this issue. Additionally, certain patients may be more likely to develop TMJ, including women in their 30s and 40s, and people with congenital jaw deformities. Rest assured that you don’t have to endure the facial pain associated with TMJ disorders. Contact our experienced team at Anderson Dentistry and learn how you can get some relief. Call our Colleyville office at 817-485-2111 to schedule your visit today.