Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder is identified by a variety of symptoms. Different patients undergo different kinds of symptoms and sometimes diagnosing this disorder is not always immediate. Pain brought about by TMJ complications goes far and beyond your facial area with parts such as the lower back also affected. Below are some of the areas in which you could experience TMJ aches.
Temporomandibular joint disorder is not a comfortable condition. Conditions arising from disorders in this joint are often excruciating and even lead to partial numbness in certain parts of the body. What matters most is dealing with the root cause of the problem. Your doctors should make your life easier by first dealing with the disorder’s symptoms. Pain caused by this disorder can present itself in a variety of ways, including headaches, migraines, pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulders, and general pain in the face.
Other symptoms of TMJ include dizziness, nausea, ringing of the ears, and loss of normal function of the jaw. People who suffer from this syndrome may experience strange noises when opening and closing their mouths. They may also lose the ability to completely close or open their mouths. Pain brought about by TMJ complications goes far and beyond your facial area with parts such as the lower back also affected. Below are some of the areas in which you could experience TMJ aches.
List Of Symptoms
TMJ Jaw Pain is one of the most common symptoms that a patient will suffer from. Since the temporomandibular joint is located in the jaw area, the jaws are adversely affected. They sometimes tend to lock, making it very painful to use or open your mouth. The muscles also tend to get sore, putting pressure on your gums and teeth. They also sometimes produce some clicking sounds, which can give you an uncomfortable feeling. Usually, a TMJ patient will experience the most pain when chewing or yawning.
- The pain may also spread to areas surrounding the neck, ears, and shoulders. This pain is usually rife in the morning and evening.
- It is also not uncommon to have swelling in the face. When this occurs, it’s best to visit a dentist or your physician.
- Opening and closing of the mouth should not cause pain in a healthy individual. If you are experiencing a stiff jaw or have a locked jaw feeling when you are eating, speaking, or yawning, then this could be a symptom of the disorder.
- Frequent tension headaches are a TMJ symptom which often goes ignored. Migraines can also be experienced. Migraines and headaches tend to occur most often in the mornings, probably as a result of clenching and grinding the teeth while sleeping.
- Clicking sounds in the jaw are also a sign you should not ignore.
Eye and Ear Symptoms
The eyes are also a good indicator of TMJ conditions. Below are eye symptoms to look out for:
- Pressure behind the eye sockets and sometimes blurry vision may point towards the disorder. This may be brought about by the frequent headaches. Besides pressure, you may also experience some pain around the eyes.
- An increase in sensitivity to light, constant watery eyes and straining that is not associated to any eye problems are common TMJ symptoms.
TMJ ear pain is another common complaint seen with this disorder. TMJ complications can affect the ears and this ear pain also comes in the form of funny sounds and ringing in the ears. A specialist will also try to find out if you have experienced any TMJ symptoms ear problems. These include:
- Constant ringing or unfamiliar sounds in the ear.
- Frequent ear pains
- Constantly itchy and clogged ears too
Neck, Shoulder, and Back Symptoms
TMJ disorders do not just affect the facial area but spread to surrounding areas such as the neck and shoulders and all the way to the back.
- TMJ patients often experience soreness in the shoulder region which sometimes feels like an extra weight.
- If you experience pain in the neck, you may be unable to move the neck freely. You may also feel as if your shoulders feel heavy.
- The lower back is the part of the body that can cause excruciating pain to someone suffering from TMJ. This could be on the upper back or lower back. Stiffness in the lower back is also experienced as well as some pain in the chest. The back pain can put a lot of pressure on the patient and can lead to difficulty in movement.
- Numbness in the fingers, arms, and limbs is also a symptom that should never be overlooked.
The above are just some of the many symptoms TMJ patients may suffer from. As you can see most of these symptoms vary and it is important you get medical attention if you suspect that you have one or more of the symptoms described above. TMJ symptoms can be uncomfortable and sometimes very painful. They affect a variety of body parts and you should therefore disclose all symptoms in order to get an accurate diagnosis. The earlier your TMJ condition is identified, the easier it is to treat and avoid major complications.
Stacy Kupiec · 08/04/2014 at 15:59
I was wondering if you’ve ever heard of TMJ disorder ever causing the eye nerves to twitch? (One eye being pulled to the side.) I had this happen recently and have an appt with a neurologist because my doctor fears I may have had a mini-stroke. I plan on discussing all of this with the neurologist, but it’s not for another week. I’d like to have as much information as possible.
Steve · 13/09/2014 at 11:17
Yes. My right eye was twitching constantly, until I started physical therapy. I have had every symptom for TMJ. It’s often scary and I worry a little because I had TMJ with severe pain for 5 months and no one could tell me what was wrong. I researched it on my own and found a specialist who confirmed it. I also have Myofascial pain in my clavicle and mandible. The two TMJ and Myofascial pain are common to have.
sammi · 05/01/2015 at 03:56
(not the OP) Good to know.. I started to think i had a brain tumor or something. Bc I’ve had some headaches lately and some eye twitching and occasional blurring… But then I remembered I was diagnosed with TMJ earlier this year (which i never really took care of), and I had recently been starting to feel the ear side effects, as well as having jaw, tongue and neck muscle aching again lately.. (prior to my TMJ diagnosis i thought i had some sort of tumor in the estatian tube bc i constantly felt like my ears were clogged when there was no wax in there, etc)… The internet can make you paranoid. I need to get a mouthguard ASAP.
Dona · 26/04/2014 at 23:24
28 years ago I suddenly was having migraines, two weeks straight. Long story short, many doctors and tests later I was led to a chiropractor whom led me to an orthadontist. Found out I had TMJ from a tooth taken out right before the migraine. He fixed me up with a mouth appliance that over several months spread my upper jaw ever so slightly, then put braces on my top teeth seeing that the appliance separated my teeth. This worked miracles. Poof! My migraine gone! Present day, I had teeth worked on again, just teeth filled, now my TMJ seems to be acting up again. I have ringing in ears, ear sensitivity, eye sensitivity, vertigo, balance issues, ear pain, clenching my teeth now, weird headaches. Back to square one. Problem is, getting doctors to take me seriously. My other doctor is no longer around. Doctors these days just want to hand out drugs…Botox, forget it, how many treatments before it may work, and not meant for a serious case like mine. So, what to do.been to two neurologists, ENT, physical therapists, all the testing, etc., for two years now. And still, all I have is doctors throw me on addicting drugs that make me worse. Looked the doctors up and realized they were being paid off by pharmaceuticals. Great! Be very careful out there people.
Deb · 23/10/2014 at 12:37
YES!!! I have every symptom you just described and the neuro just wants me on meds. He was actually RUDE when I told him I want to fix the TMJ first and see if the headaches, facial aches, etc go away. I’ve been working with a chiro, massage therapists and physical therapists to relax the muscles and realign things and my new mouth appliance is coming next Friday. I’m praying it works! All of this started this winter, and I had some major dental work done in December. Hmmmm …
Amy Fish · 05/05/2018 at 21:28
I need help please/advice. I have TMJ so a ENT Dr. told me. I have been having all the symptoms you describe. I am really suffering. Dr. sending me to a Balance Dr. for ear rocks maybe. I feel so terrible and I just stay in this state until they figure it all out, many dollars and tests later. Kind of scarey! What are we to do?
Dona · 26/04/2014 at 23:30
Oh yes, forgot, neck pain, weight on my shoulders, shoulder pain occasionally, and my finger tips go sort of numb like I am wearing gloves.
hayley · 18/08/2014 at 12:06
I have every symptom dona has and it’s 24\7 my worst is blury vision and off balance feeling:(
jean smith · 22/10/2014 at 13:17
I have been diagnosed with TMJ in August and have since been on steroids I am reducing them and my doctor has just told me to take paracetamol no more than 8 in a day but I am at my wits end the pain comes all the time I have been given a gum shield which I can collect this week but really don’t now what else to do I am waiting on the doctor calling me back as I am usually healthy and work 40 hours a week and this is just destroying me. Help
Dave · 27/10/2014 at 13:24
On way to UPENN soon. Terrible headaches and facial pain for 14 straight days. Cleaning at dentist, cavity filled immediately preceded pain. I think it had something to do with first Novocain shot. Three say after cavity filled I had a root canal… Still no relief. We then heard about TN-trigeminal neuropathy (sp??). TN sounds awful, but a lot of symptoms similar to TMJ. It was only last evening that it occurred to me it could be TMJ. I had issues years ago and had mouth piece made. Started wearing last night. Could all the work I had done cause my current symptoms??? The fatigue and eye issues are new to me. This last two weeks have been difficult and every area of my family’s life has been impacted.
If I can help anyone, let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
teresa coker · 30/10/2014 at 05:15
I am fifty nine and suffering with tmj. I have watery eye in left eye . My mouth and jaw hurts , my hands go numb and my vision gets blurred.. Seems like I have swollen lymp nodes a lot close to jaw and neck. Is there any thing natural to take that will help an does anyone experience runny nose with the tmj?
Ana · 04/12/2014 at 01:07
Hi I don’t know if any of you are in NY but I’m seeing a TMJ specialist let me know I will pass on her info
Leslie · 01/02/2015 at 19:53
I’m near NY, who are you seeing?
Ana · 21/04/2015 at 01:38
Dr. Torres in Jackson heights queens
Kristan · 15/04/2015 at 20:25
I’ve had TMJ since about 1999 or so… Never been diagnosed with it… However I have been diagnosed with posterior uveitis…. Just had a ton of blood taken and a chest x ray… Soon I will have a MRI. My eye doctors and eye specialist have no idea what’s causing this. Could this be a huge issue? I have most of the issues associated with this… I’m in like eureka moment right now.. I probably diagnosed myself! Thank you in advance for replying. I’m miserable… And I’m praying this is the issue!!!!
Ana · 15/06/2015 at 22:12
Hi I wish u well I see a dr Maria Torres 718.899.3840 she helped me as far as pain. I still have pain but not as often. I suffered for two years now with jaw but all my life with neck pain. I hope this helps
Steve · 17/04/2015 at 00:56
I am near NY as well. Help!
Fiona · 18/10/2015 at 18:44
I’ve seen many Doctors about the pain but none of them will do anything to help. Now that I have found a diagnosis for them they might decide to do something. They don’t know what the pain is like! Cross fingers.
Tonya Mcclure · 26/01/2016 at 21:59
I have extreme sensitivity to light.wear 3 pairs of sunglasses in the house to watch TV with the lights off.I keep the lights off in my house even at night because the pain in my eyes is so bad. I also have terrible pain in my jaws, around my eyes, around the ears, headaches,and pain in the neck and back. if anyone knows of a specialist who actually help you. I would love to know their name. I am in Kentucky and none of the doctors I have seen say that I pain and light sensitivity can be attributed to TMJ. this started with a bad car wreck when I was 21. I am now 42. things just get worse every year with this. I have spent thousands of dollars on doctors, mouthguards etc. I even got injections in my face and nothing has helped. I knew that the light sensitivity was due to TMJ Buffy doctors I saw all told me that TMJ doesn’t cause pain and light sensitivity in the eyes. if anyone can help I would appreciate it. I am willing to travel to see a good doctor. if anyone has my symptoms and those of one could you please pass on the information? thanks so much. I hope everyone on here gets the help they need.
Stacy · 27/01/2016 at 10:51
I had similar symptoms starting about two years ago. Mine was also after a car accident. After a long road of testing, which found nothing wrong, I was referred to a chiropractor who specialized in the neck vertebra. I was skeptical, but desperate. After only a few sessions with this dr. Relief started to come. It’s been over a year now since I’ve gone to him and still the headaches, the shoulder tightness, the extreme light sensitivity is gone.
The practice is called NUCCA. If you’re interested, see if there’s one where you live. The manipulation of regular chiropractic is different. It’s gentle and seriously, I can’t argue with he results. I feel so much better now. Good luck to you!
neringa dobrovolskaite · 13/03/2018 at 16:30
Does anyone has a nose bridge pain with tmj?
Laura · 05/04/2018 at 15:47
I am so happy to hear some of you discuss Chiropractic to help with TMJ! There is also another specialized treatment called Atlas Orthogonal. Basic understanding is that your head can get knocked off your top spinal bone (the Atlas) and cause major problems. I had a treatment when I couldn’t move my head at all, and poof, all the pain went away! Apparently Jim McMahon, the football player, had a treatment and it greatly relieved his symptoms as well.