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What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders include jaw and face pain, difficulty opening the mouth, clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth to chew, and swelling on the side of the face, according to WebMD. Additional symptoms include toothaches, headaches, tinnitus and dizziness.

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Full Answer

TMJ disorders cause pain and discomfort in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to the skull, explains Mayo Clinic. Although it is not fully understood what causes TMJ disorders, experts believe the condition results from some type of injury to the jaw, the jaw joint, or the head and neck muscles, notes WebMD. For instance, a significant blow to the head or jaw, whiplash, teeth grinding or clenching, stress and arthritis can bring on symptoms.

Treatment for TMJ disorders depends on the scope and severity of the condition. Pharmaceutical treatments include medications such as pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants and sedatives, notes Mayo Clinic. Nonpharmaceutical treatments include physical therapy such as ultrasound, heat and ice treatment, use of bite guards or oral splints, and counseling to help better understand the condition. In the most severe cases, surgery or other invasive medical procedures, including arthrocentesis to remove debris, corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and surgery to repair structural defects, may be necessary.

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