mature adult man holding his jaw and ears in painOne of the most challenging aspects of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder/Dysfunction (TMJ or TMD) is that it presents many different symptoms for people. One person who visits their Anchorage, Alaska, TMJ dentist may have daily or weekly headaches accompanied by jaw pain and tightness. Other people may not have headaches, but they suffer from neck tightness and neck pain. Others may have TMJ symptoms that involve their ears, including ear stuffiness and ringing in the ears, known as “tinnitus.” 

If you’re here reading this, you may suffer from some or all of those symptoms. If so, you’re in the right place because an experienced, knowledgeable neuromuscular dentist in Anchorage can diagnose TMJ and treat its painful symptoms.

Dysfunction of the Temporomandibular Joint may result in the following:

  • TMJ Headaches
  • TMJ Ear Symptoms
  • TMJ Neck Symptoms
  • TMJ Jaw/Face Symptoms

TMJ Headaches

The pain from TMJ-related headaches can be excruciating, so, for this reason, many people will say they have a “migraine” or compare their TMJ headache pain to that of a migraine. While TMJ-related headaches may not officially be a migraine, they can be as painful and long-lasting as a migraine. Your TMJ headaches may be tension or cluster headaches and are likely the result of one or more of the following:

  • Malocclusion (misalignment)
  • Bruxism (nighttime grinding and clenching of the teeth)
  • Chewing gum
  • Dislocated jaw joints
  • Jaw joint connective tissue disorders
  • Malformation of the TMJ at birth
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Damage or displacement of the meniscus disc
  • Damage to the jaw joint from an accident or blow to the face

An Anchorage, Alaska, TMJ dentist will use advanced dental technology to listen to and monitor the movements of your jaw, allowing him to pinpoint the problem areas and create a TMJ treatment plan, especially for you.

TMJ Ear Symptoms

As mentioned above, TMJ can also cause problems with your ears. You may have difficulty hearing or:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Congestion in the ears (“fullness” in the ears)
  • Pain in one or both ears

One of the reasons that TMJ is often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed by medical professionals is that its symptoms (like pain in the ear or tinnitus) do not lead one to think the jaw is the source of the problem; however, an Anchorage neuromuscular dentist has the education, training, and experience to understand the connection between the jaw and surrounding structures like the ear and the neck. 

TMJ Neck Symptoms

If you have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, you may have a stiff neck, especially upon waking, and you may have pain in the neck and even into the shoulders. You may feel like you “slept on it wrong” or pulled something. The keen eyes and ears of a neuromuscular dentist in Anchorage will be able to spot TMJ and devise a treatment plan following a comprehensive evaluation.

TMJ Jaw/Face Symptoms

If you suffer from TMJ, you will likely feel pain somewhere on the face and on one or both sides of the jaw. Here are some of the most common TMJ jaw/face symptoms:

  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw tightness
  • Clicking/popping noises in the jaw area
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Facial numbness
  • Facial tingling

Strangely enough, numbness and tingling can even travel down the arms and into the hands and fingers. If you have any combination of the symptoms discussed here, schedule a comprehensive evaluation with your Anchorage TMJ dentist. The technology used to diagnose and treat TMJ is highly advanced and precise in determining where the problems lie.

Learn More About TMJ Headaches and Other Symptoms in Anchorage, Alaska

If you have headaches with no apparent cause, you may have TMJ. If you have headaches accompanied by jaw pain, clicking/popping noises, and ear pain, you likely have TMJ. The good news is that this complex condition can be treated. 

There are numerous conservative TMJ treatments available. Please contact Excellence in Dentistry at (907) 349-0022 to schedule a new patient evaluation. You may also fill out our online contact form; one of our dental team members will reach out shortly. Dr. Kendall Skinner is one of two Gneuromuscular Dentistry (GNM) dentists in Alaska and has treated patients with TMJ for many years.