What Are Symptoms for Arthritis in the Temporomandibular Joint?


Quick Answer

Symptoms for temporomandibular joint disorder includes pain or tenderness in the face, neck or jaw area, difficulty opening the mouth, clicking or popping sounds when the jaw is used and trouble with chewing, according to WebMD. Some patients also experience toothaches, headaches or ringing in the ears.

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Additional symptoms for temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD, include a jaw that seems to be stuck or in a locked position, a tired feeling in the face or noticeable swelling in the face, states WebMD. Some patients may also feel pain or tenderness in the upper shoulders, especially while eating, chewing or talking.

The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull and acts as a hinge. It is the joint that allows the jaw to move up and down, as well as side to side. The actual cause of the disorder is unknown; however, some potential problems that may lead to TMD include whiplash, an injury to the neck, shoulders or jaw area, grinding or clenching of the teeth, and stress, notes WebMD.

To treat TMD at home, patients can use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen, apply an ice or heat pack to the tender area and avoid extreme jaw movements. Other treatments, typically administered by a dentist, include prescription pain medications, a splint or night guard and dental work, reports WebMD.

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