TMJ signs & Symptoms

Muscle tension headache is by far the most prevalent type of headache. It is often a component of some headaches diagnosed as migraine. Muscle tension headache most often manifests itself in the temporal region, location of the jaw posturing (temporalis) muscle. Malocclusion can result in sustained muscle contraction leading to pain. Every dentist who has treated patients neuromuscularly knows how often the correction of significant malocclusion results in eliminating or markedly reducing head and neck pain. Certainly not every headache is of muscular origin and proper diagnosis is essential. But the dentist with neuromuscular training has the ability to rule in or, equally important to rule out, muscle tension as a causative factor. 

The bite can be a factor in many types of pain or functional problems because of the inter-relationship of the overall musculoskeletal system. Since there is a relationship between the teeth, jaw joints, head and neck muscles, and head posture, a problem in any one of these areas may affect others. These can include painful clicking or popping of the jaw joint, various types of head and neck pain, swallowing problems, postural problems, and excessive snoring or sleep apnea, to mention a few. If it is suspected that you suffer from this type of problem, the neuromuscular dentist may ask you if you have any of the symptoms shown below. 

In addition, he will be looking for a number of signs in your posture, appearance and condition of your teeth, and existing bite that might aid in diagnosis.


Musculoskeletal signs & symptoms 

  • Headaches including migraines
  • Jaw joint pain 
  • Jaw joint noise, clicking or popping
  • Jaw that deviates to one side or the other when opening
  • Limited mouth opening 
  • Ear congestion 
  • Dizziness 
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Loose teeth 
  • Pain above or behind the eyes 
  • Clenching or grinding 
  • Facial pain 
  • Sensitive teeth 
  • Receding gums
  • Chewing difficulties 
  • Neck pain 
  • Postural problems 
  • Tingling of the fingertips 
  • Hot & cold sensitivity of teeth 
  • Nervousness or insomnia 
  • Head and scalp painful to touch 
  • Sore jaw muscles or "tired" muscles upon awakening

© 2014 - Dr. Yves Delessert, DDS - DMD - MS, Your jaw pain and TMJ expert.
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