Jaw Keeps Popping? Understanding & Managing TMJ Discomfort

What are health conditions that might coexist with TMJ Disorders?

Researchers have found that 85% of patients with TMD still experience debilitating symptoms in other areas of the body. Such comorbidities (coexisting disorders) include:
1. Allergies
2. Cardiac arrhythmias
3. Chronic fatigue syndrome
4. Chronic headaches - migraine & tension
5. Dizziness
6. Ear pain & tinnitus (ear ringing)
7. Endometriosis
8. Fibromyalgia
9. Generalized pain conditions
10. Interstitial cystitis
11. Irritable bowel syndrome
12. Sleep disorders or disturbances
13. Vulvodynia

How can my dentist help with my migraines or tension headaches?

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMD. TMJ headache is a form of tension headache. It is felt pain in the ring around the eyes or a migraine headache. There are a few TMJ-related causes of problems. Clenching and grinding the teeth, both of which are signs of TMJ, causes discomfort in the muscles of the head, resulting in headache. So, when your TMD is alleviated, your headaches would reduce.

How is ear pain related to TMJ?

Half of the patients who suffer from TMJ complaints about ear pain. The pain in the ear is due to the misalignment of the jaw due to various reasons and it can cause pain in the inner ear of the patient. The reason for jaw misalignment could be clenching of teeth at the time of stress, any dental surgery and trauma after an accident.

Are there any health conditions that have similar signs and symptoms as TMD?

As TMJ syndrome is multifactorial and causes symptoms in head, neck, and face, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it from other disorders. There are many health conditions having similar symptoms with TMD. They are
• Atypical (vascular) neuralgia
• Hypo- and hyperkinesia (abnormal jaw movements).
• Giant cell arteritis.
• Lyme disease.
• Myositis (muscle inflammation).
• Myositis ossificans (calcification in a muscle).
• Otitis (earache).
• Parotitis (salivary gland inflammation).
• Scleroderma (chronic hardening of the skin).
• Sinusitis.
• Temporal arteritis (inflammation of the temporal artery).
• Toothache.
• Trigeminal neuralgia.
• Trotter's syndrome (nasopharyngeal carcinoma).

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