Earaches and Other Weird Symptoms Caused by “TMJ”
Temporomandibular joint, or ‘TMJ’, disorders are often associated with a variety of classic, tell-tale symptoms; most notably, jaw pain and a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth. What many people don’t realize is that a TMJ disorder can actually affect your whole body, so you may be experiencing symptoms of a problem and don’t realize it has anything to do with your jaw joint. Here are a few of the more-surprising symptoms of temporomandibular disorders.
Are you experiencing severe neck pain but don’t know why? It could be caused by TMJ dysfunction because the joint and its associated muscles play a significant role in ensuring that your head stays properly balanced atop the spinal cord. Weighing in at approximately eight pounds your head is a pretty solid load to support; if you have bad posture because your TMJ isn’t working properly, this weight can be distributed unevenly adding extra stress onto your spine and neck.
Earache and Ear Pain
The muscles of your jaw run around your ears and adjacent to your auditory tubes so it is entirely possible that TMJ pain could trigger an earache. Many people mistake this pain for an ear infection or other ear problem when in actuality the discomfort isn’t really even coming from the ear at all.
The tongue is attached to your lower jaw and its position in the mouth depends on proper alignment of the lower jaw. If the jaws aren’t aligned properly the tongue may sit too far back in the mouth and possibly obstruct the airway. An advanced TMJ disorder can cause erosion of the lower jaw bone and change in its position therefore also affecting the position of the tongue. This can result in difficulty sleeping due to what feels like abnormal breathing, which could warrant a trip to the doctor only to find that a TMJ disorder is to blame.
The good news is that there are treatment options available if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder. Speak to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon about what can be done!
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