Do you think you may have TMJ?
While pain can be a clear clue you have a TMJ disorder, it’s not the only one.
Poor posture, worn teeth, jaw joint damage, gum tissue loss around the roots of your teeth, and problems with your neck or the vertebrae of your spine can be a slow degenerative process that doesn’t cause pain in its early stages.
Some non-painful signs of TMJ damage are:
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- You are unable to open your mouth widely. Try this simple test: When you open your mouth as wide as you can, see how many fingers you can fit between your top and bottom teeth. If your TM joints are healthy, you should be able to fit at least 3 fingers. If you can only do 1 or 2 fingers, it could be a sign your TM joint structures have started to deteriorate.
- Your jaw clicks or pops when you open or close it. Your jaw joints are located just in front of your ears. Clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, is a sign they may be damaged. Similar to a clicking or popping knee, you may have no pain, in your jaw joint but the clicking is similar to a click in a knee joint. Over time there will be irreversible damage.
- Your jaw doesn’t open evenly. When you open your mouth, your lower jaw should descend straight down. If it slides left or right instead, it’s an indication that one of your TMJ joints is not moving properly and may be locked. This can develop into a more serious problem as the locked joint can worsen and/or contribute to painful TMj symptoms.
When it comes to TMJ, early treatment is best
There are many ways to treat TMJ. The key to finding the right treatment is an accurate diagnosis. The longer you leave an impaired joint alone, the more impact it will have on the bones, ligaments, muscles and other tissues that surround it.
If, through these simple tests, you suspect you may have TMJ, schedule a consultation with your dentist sooner rather than later. It could help you resolve your TMJ issue before you develop painful symptoms, and may lighten the load on your wallet when it comes to treatment.
Find a TMJ Dentist in your area
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