Dentists are very much aware of the many symptoms of TMJ disorders. The TMJ—temporomandibular joint—is the highly complex sliding joint on which the lower jaw hinges. Most patients, at some time in their lives, suffer pain arising from this joint. The causes for the pain are many and varied and the symptoms equally so, often affecting the entire head and neck region. Dr. Alfredo Gapuz of Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Orlando, FL, is specially trained and equipped to treat this condition. He uses leading-edge diagnostic technology and a wide variety of therapeutic procedures to thoroughly evaluate and successfully manage those patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
What are the Symptoms of TMD?
There are many symptoms that can be traced back to TMD, and they do not always involve just the TMJ itself. They can include the obvious, such as pain in the joint; difficulty in opening and closing the jaw; pain while chewing; grinding, clicking or popping of the joint (crepitus) when opening and closing; and limited jaw opening.
Because TMJ-related symptoms can vary so greatly, they are often misdiagnosed. Only a specially trained dentist can adequately evaluate the many signs and symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.
Other symptoms may be less obvious. These include an earache that can mimic an ear infection, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), dizziness or vertigo, moderate to severe headache that can be misdiagnosed as a migraine, an aching sensation around the face, and stiffness and tenderness in the neck and upper back. It should be emphasized that many of these symptoms can be indicative of more serious medical conditions, so it is important to establish an accurate diagnosis without undue delay.