Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms and Causes of TMJ

Common TMJ symptoms

The following is a list of all common TMJ symptoms.  Please understand that this list may not include every symptom a TMJ disorder patient may experience.  Some TMJ symptoms are more common than others.  If you feel as though you might have TMJ disorder, the first place to start would be an assessment with the team at TMJ Centre Melbourne.

  • Headaches
  • Ringing in ears
  • Jaw pain
  • Back pain
  • Face pain
  • Ear pain/stuffiness
  • Neck ache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Clenching/grinding
  • Fatigue
  • Shoulder pain

Jaw and Joint Problems

The TMJ is interconnected with many systems in the body. Any problems or discomfort within the TMJ can cause structural imbalances or health problems in other parts of the body. It’s a little like having a pebble in your shoe – you naturally adjust your stride to make yourself more comfortable. But in doing so, you place more stress upon your ankle, knee, and hip. Your uneven hips then cause the adjustment and discomfort to travel up your spine. Before you know it you have a pain in your neck – all from a pebble in your shoe.

Just like the pebble, a problem in your TMJ can cause multiple, seemingly unrelated problems. While some symptoms can be easily traced back to the jaw joint – such as difficultly or pain in biting and chewing, clicks and grating noises from your jaw, or pain in your jaw or face – other symptoms, like neck, back, and shoulder pain, sinus pain, pain behind the eye,  tension type headaches, ringing in the ears and even migraines may make it less obvious that the TMJ is the root cause of the problem.

To truly understand TMJ one has to understand the complex relationships between teeth, muscles, jaw joints, cranium, neck, brain, and the nervous system.

No two patients with TMJ disorder experience the same symptoms and pain. It is important that you book an appointment and receive a thorough examination and diagnosis before jumping to any conclusions about your health.

Discomfort or pain in the TMJ can have many causes:

  • Trauma to the TMJ or surrounding muscles and tissues from a sporting injury, car accident or other physical incident
  • Misaligned bite from uneven teeth, mis-positioning of jaw, incorrect bite or loss of bite height
  • Daytime clenching of the jaw and nighttime grinding of teeth while asleep (referred to as bruxism). The underlying cause of night time grinding is often sleep apnoea
  • Stresses on other areas of the skeletal system, e.g. neck and lower back and sometimes even foot dysfunction.

All too often, the foundation of the problem will be a combination of many different causes, which are all interacting and exasperating each other. This is why it is so hard to identify the original cause of the problem and why a holistic approach is best for effective treatment.

To find out the exact cause of your TMJ, book a consultation with Dr Shah and our TMJ chiropractor at TMJ Centre Melbourne today!