Temporomandibular joint disorders, commonly referred to as TMJ disorders, occur when the two TM joints on each side of the jaw are not functioning optimally or are out of alignment. This painful condition affects 35 million people in the United States, and the numbers are most likely much higher as it often goes undiagnosed. The major symptoms of this painful disorder include the following:
This is the most obvious area affected by TMJ disorders. The symptoms can range drastically from tenderness, extreme pain, achiness and even moments where the jaw can’t be opened or closed easily. Although rare, the sensation of “lock jaw” can be very scary.
The cause of headaches can be so hard to diagnose as they are caused by such a huge range of things. The list of causes could go on for days: sinus headaches, tension headaches, caffeine-withdrawal headaches, dehydration headaches just to name a few. Although TMJ disorder headaches can mimic the symptoms of these other headaches they often occur behind the eyes, on the side of the head, or where the neck meets the back of the head. The pain can even radiate down the shoulders. They also occur in women eight times more often than men.
When simple mouth movements such as chewing, yawning or even just talking produce clicking or popping sounds in the jaw it’s a good idea to have this symptom assessed by your dentist. Sometimes these sounds are normal, but they can be an indication of a TMJ disorder.
One of the least expected areas of pain associated with TMJ disorders are the ears. If you look at a visual representation of the where the Temporomandibular joint is located, it becomes clear that its proximity to the ear can cause serious problems. Sometimes the pain is only felt in the front of the ear but can spread into the ear itself and down into the cheeks. TMJ disorders can even cause noise in the ears, a feeling of stuffed up or clogged ears, sound sensitivity and vertigo (dizziness).
Advances in modern medicine and technology have created so many avenues for treatment that no one should have to suffer in pain any longer. Dr. Collins knows how debilitating the pain of this disorder can be and has invested his expertise and resources into state-of-the-art equipment to help diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. If you are suffering from any mix of the symptoms listed above please call the office today at 509-532-1111 so we can help you begin the path to healing and living a pain-free life.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788