If you have ever had soreness or aches in your jaw, and you haven’t gone to the dentist recently – you may be experiencing signs of TMJ symptoms. TMJ is your temporomandibular joint, which is the joint in your cheek bone/jaw bone. This joint connects these two bones, and acts like a hinge for your jaw.
TMJ disorders are very common, and is usually self-diagnosable. If you have daily pain that involves struggling to move your jaw, you should seek help from a dental professional. Other symptoms you may feel include difficulty chewing or clicking of the jaw. When you diagnose these symptoms yourself and seek dental help, here is what your dentist will do to further determine if you have a TMJ disorder.
When you go to consult with a dentist on if you have TMJ, they will complete a series of testing to determine if this is the correct disorder you are experiencing symptoms from. Some of the tests your dentist may do involve testing senses, such as sight, touch, and listening.
- First, your dentist will apply a bit of pressure to your jaw and TMJ, to see if you feel tenderness and pain.
- Then, your dentist may listen for popping and/or clicking sounds when you open and close your mouth
- And next, your dentist may look inside your mouth for signs of teeth grinding, clenching of the jaw and jaw alignment issues. During this test, they may also use X-Rays, if they’ve found evidence of a TMJ disorder and symptoms.
Before consulting with your dentist, home checks are ideal for seeing if these are the proper symptoms for TMJ disorders. When you do home checks, you will rule out any symptoms not related to TMJ, and will have a better idea on what to talk to the doctor about.
Remember to look for pain or soreness in your jaw, or around the ear or if you are having difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
To figure out what is causing the pain in your jaw, or in your general face area, set up an appointment with your doctor. During this consultation, your dentist will be able to walk you through your treatment options for issues with TMJ or diagnose other symptoms.