One of the most important joints in our head is the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. It connects your lower jaw to your skull and moves every single day while you eat, smile, and talk. Having problems connected to this jaw can cause many complications and discomfort, including “popping” ears, which we will discuss further on.
If you or your child seem to have discomfort in the lower jaw, ears, or teeth and show symptoms that worsen when you wake up in the morning or after eating/speaking, you might be dealing with TMD.
TMD - temporomandibular joint disorder - happens when your TMJ is affected by a medical condition, a certain behavior, or an injury. The TMJ can be affected by a variety of factors: facial injury, bruxism (grinding your teeth while you sleep), sleep disorders, poor neck postures, and the coexistence of conditions like arthritis and other joint conditions, to name a few.
The symptoms associated with TMD range from mild to severe, and can spread to many areas of your face and head. They include: headaches, hearing cracking and popping noises, jaw and ear pain.
TMD can also cause dental issues, which is why it’s important to tell your dentist about any symptoms you might have besides direct discomfort to your teeth. TMD can be associated with worn, cracked, or chipped teeth, and your dentist will be able to tell if there is a possible problem with your jaw by using their expertise and advanced imagistics technology.
Many signs of TMJ disorder are related to your ears. We are talking here about either weird sounds or pain in the ear. Clicking, popping, cracking sounds you hear from your jaw when you move it are all possible signs of TMD.
TMD can even cause tinnitus, a permanent ringing in your ear caused by nerve irritation. This, correlated with other symptoms, should make you suspect a problem with your lower jaw joint. If you are wondering what kind of medical specialist you should see when having problems with your jaw, then you should know that you need to book an appointment with your dentist.
The dentist can explore the possible causes of your jaw discomfort, see if you have any jaw misalignment and if you need orthodontic treatment, a night guard for bruxism, or other treatment options.
Look for a dentist who has experience treating orofacial injuries and disorders, as not all dentists in Montebello have the expertise to really find the cause of your TMJ and ear discomfort.
Book an appointment now with Dr. Jelani Winslow at Whittier Palm Dental. Dr. Winslow has extensive experience treating jaw and bite issues and can refer you to other specialists, depending on the cause of your TMJ discomfort and pain.
Get in touch with us either by booking an appointment online or calling us at (323) 721-7153.
If you’re looking for a new dentist in Montebello, we’ve made it easier to choose us! Whittier Palm Dental is offering new patients a prophylaxis cleaning, an exam, and x-rays for only $99. It’s perfect for patients without periodontal disease who don’t plan to use insurance, and it includes everything you need to get started on your journey to exceptional oral health. Give us a call at (323) 721-7153 and ask about our $99 new patient special today!
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