Tag Archives: symptoms of TMJ

Is there a correlatoin between TMJ and numb fingers?

Lately, I have had this numbing, tingling feeling in my fingers and I was wondering if it could be related to my TMJ disorder? I am very familiar with all the other symptoms of bruxism and grinding and how they affect my TMJ, like pain in my jaw and face, ringing in my ears, and stiffness in the jaw joint. But this numbing pins and needles feeling is new. It only happens with my left hand and I was wondering if there is a correlation here?

– Loretta in Missouri

Loretta,

TMJ symptoms are wide-ranging and TMJ disorder manifests differently for everyone. But to answer your question, yes, the numb feeling you have described can be connected with TMJ disorder. Typically it is not as common of a TMJ symptom, having been reported in about 50 percent of TMJ patients.

Here is what is happening in regard to the numbness. When your bite is misaligned, muscle spasms may occur. And since all of your muscles are inter-connected, when your jaw is misaligned it is quite possible to see problems down in your extremities. This is because the muscle spasms that you experience causing the tightness in your jaw, face, and neck area can influence the connecting nerves that travel into your arms. When these nerves are bothered, periodic numbness or tingling can be a result. That said, the numbness may not always occur as a result of TMJ pain. It can happen spontaneously.

It is important that you report any new or different TMJ problems to your TMJ specialist or the dentist that is treating you. Open communication will enable the best TMJ treatment to meet your specific needs.

Thank you for your question!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics by Dr. Steve Bader.

I think I have lock jaw.

Hi,

I have been told that I have TMD. I am 17 and have dealt with lock jaw for over three years now. It usually just clicks, but the other day it was really bothering me. So I decided to use an old sports mouth piece I had to avoid clenching. When I removed it, my jaw locked. When I went into the dentist, they said they wanted to do an impression so a splint could be made. It should be a few more days but then I should have the splint. I just don’t know if I can take it any longer. My articular disc is out of place and has been locked up for a couple days now. I have been taking anti-inflammatory drugs and wearing that mouth guard to help.

Is there anything else that can be done to keep my jaw from being locked? Do you know any tricks to unlock it?

– Leslie in North Carolina

Leslie,

Individuals that suffer from lock jaw have a condyle that doesn’t return to the proper position. The condyle is the head of the lower jaw and the disc that separates the skull from the condyle is the articular disc. This sounds like what is troubling you and causing your temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Sometimes this painful condition can last up to two weeks. And the most common TMJ treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs and in some cases muscle relaxers. Individuals with TMJ / TMD may do better eating soft foods if their jaw gets locked up. Heat and ice may help periodically, as well to reduce the inflammation.

The splint is a TMJ treatment that will reposition the condyle into a better position in correlation with the disc. You may notice some popping and clicking on occasion but hopefully your symptoms are noticeably improved. When the splint treatment doesn’t work, you may need to consider seeing a TMJ dentist or TMJ specialist that can explore your options. Sometimes surgery is recommended to reposition the disc for the best long-term function. There is much training that is required beyond dental school to treat this condition well, so be sure to make sure your dentist has TMJ credentials and proven treatment success.

Here are some tips to avoid increased aggravation of the TMJ and the muscles around it.

  • Relaxation exercises (yoga or meditation) work well for some.
  • Avoid gum.
  • Soft foods will help and stay away from chewy/sticky food.
  • Try not to open your mouth all the way when yawning if possible.
  • When you are awake, do not grind or clench.
  • At night, be sure to wear your splint. This is when most grinding and clenching take place. But don’t use the splint as a long-term solution because issues with bite alignment may become apparent.
  • Orthodontics may correct the alignment of teeth if this is a cause for the TMJ dysfunction.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

My crown feels tender

It has been over a month since I had a crown placed on the upper right side of my mouth. My tooth never used to bother me but now every time I bite down on that side, it hurts. When I talked to the dentist about it, he said to just give it some time. But now my jawbone and ear feel like they are starting to hurt. Do you think this is related? Any suggestions?

– Renee in Arizona

Renee,

It could very well be that your bite has not been adjusted like it should after your crown. When you bite or chew, your teeth come together in a certain way. So if your bite is off or is misaligned, it will continually bother you until it is fixed. The jaw pain could be related to the tempro-mandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint where the upper and lower jaw meet. The TMJ operates similarly to a ball and socket and allows your jaw to open and close properly. If your teeth are not coming together properly, the muscles around the TMJ can be aggravated. If left as is, you may be at risk for developing TMJ disorder which can cause extreme pain and headaches is left untreated. Sometimes people don’t even realize the fact that they are grinding their teeth while sleeping which may be contributing to your situation. Other TMJ symptoms are clicking, ringing heard in the ears, and issues with opening and closing the joint.

Feel free to take ibuprofen as needed, up to three times a day to help with the jaw pain. Hot and cold packs alternated may also help with any jaw irritation. This should help with the increased inflammation until you can get into your dentist to get your bite adjusted.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Related link: TMJ treatment