What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

TMD sufferers may experience a variety of symptoms. Some experience multiple symptoms, and in most cases, having a single symptom does not mean you have TMD.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Aching facial pain when you eat or talk
  • Locking or limitation of the joint, making it difficult to move your mouth
  • Clicking sound or grating feeling when you open your mouth or chew

Causes of TMD

Injury: If there is a severe injury to the jaw, it may cause bleeding or inflammation in the TMJ joint. This may cause the disc between the ball and socket to lock and pain and swelling to occur.

Clenching or Grinding your teeth (called bruxing):  Many people clench their jaws or habitually express their stress by grinding their teeth. Both of these habits include increased activity of the jaw muscles and may add stress to the TM joint. In many people, clenching and grinding happens at night and they are unaware until they awaken with a sore jaw.