Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is one of those medical conditions that’s tricky to diagnose. Your Woodlands dentist will tell you it’s because it has some pretty unusual symptoms that can mask themselves as a completely different medical issue. It can affect more than just your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)! Frequently, this leads to TMD going widely undiagnosed, while patients struggle and mask their pain with medications.
In honor of it being National TMJ Awareness Month, we decided to take a look at some of the symptoms associated with TMD that you might not even know about. Once you make the connection, you might rethink what’s causing your pain and discomfort.
Are you always a little dizzy and can’t seem to figure out why? Do you have irritating bouts of vertigo that seem to come and go way too often? Dizziness is one of the most common signs of a TMJ issue if you can believe it. It all has to do with your jaw being out of alignment and throwing your entire head off-balance.
2) Numbness or Tingling in Your Fingers
At our dental office in The Woodlands, we’ll be the first to tell you that a strange numbness or tingling feeling in your fingers can mean you have a TMJ disorder. The TMJ Association says about half of all TMJ patients report this symptom as something they’ve experienced. This is due to the muscle spasms that occur in your face, neck, shoulders, and arms, causing pinched nerves along the way.
3) Neck, Shoulder, Back Pain
Like all of these other aches and pains, this type of discomfort is related to TMD because of your jaw being out of alignment. It’s part of a highly intricate, advanced system, and when one part (like your jaw) is out of whack, everything is thrown off. This makes your body shift how it does things, causing added stress on other parts of your body.
4) Worn, Broken, or Loose Teeth
If you take care of your teeth, but find them to be decaying or breaking rapidly or more frequently, you Woodlands dentist might inspect your bite. TMJ issues can make you clench or grind your teeth, and you might not even realize you’re doing it. The repetitive motion damages your smile, leading to teeth that are loose and broken.
Do any of these sound familiar to you and your body? Think about the times you’ve talked to your doctor or specialist about your pain. That’s what makes TMD so tricky and stealthy. Because the symptoms masquerade as so many other conditions, many people travel from doctor to doctor in search of relief. Many of the people we’ve met over the years tell us they never thought to seek a dentist trained in TMD for help.
The Woodlands Dental Group doesn’t have just one dentist who knows a little something about TMD. We have four highly trained dentists who can consult with one another about your case for an added level of care you won’t find anywhere else. These are some of the Woodlands most sought after TMJ pain relievers.
Whether you’re new to TMJ discomfort or you’ve been struggling to find a solution for years, it’s time you talked to a dentist in The Woodlands who understands you and can help you feel better. Talk to us today to learn more about your options!