TMJ body symptoms are just as varied as they are numerous and may include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw tightness
- Jaw clicking/popping
- Jaw locking
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Facial pain
- Facial swelling
- Jaw swelling
- Ear pain
- Fullness in the ears
- Pain when chewing, talking, or yawning
- Misaligned bite (medically known as “malocclusion”)
- Hearing issues
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
What’s Causing My TMJ Body Symptoms?
As you can see by the above list, dysfunction in the TMJ affects a number of body areas. For this reason, TMJ is often missed as a diagnosis. Dr. Prabu Raman, however, is a premier Kansas City, Missouri, Physiologic Neuromuscular Dentist who has been diagnosing and treating TMJ for decades. Dr. Raman uses the most advanced neuromuscular technology available today to track the movements and sounds of the jaw and custom design treatment plans for patients who travel to his Center from all over the world.
Dr. Raman will explain that while it may be difficult to pinpoint what has caused your TMJ, he can certainly treat your TMJ body symptoms. Here are just a few contributing factors that could result in TMJ symptoms:
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis has damaged your joints
- Blow to the face
- Motor vehicle accident
- Chronic grinding or clenching of teeth (medically known as “bruxism”)
- Anxiety or stress
- Long-term poor posture
- Braces for children’s teeth
- Excessive gum chewing
- Chewing on objects like pens
- Connective tissue disorder affecting the tissues surrounding the temporomandibular joint
- Facial deformity
Some other factors to be considered when evaluating TMJ body symptoms are age and gender, health complications, and stress. These all affect who is at risk for developing TMJ. The majority of patients with TMJ symptoms are between the ages of 20 and 40, and women are more likely to have TMJ than men.
More Effects of TMJ on the Body
You probably don’t think that a jaw problem could affect your digestive system, but it can. According to a University of Massachusetts study, TMJ patients had over 100% more digestive problems than those without any jaw dysfunction. The first step in the digestive process is chewing, and TMJ can make it difficult to chew food thoroughly. When food is under chewed, it is more difficult to digest. Poor chewing and poor digestion will affect your intestines’ ability to absorb necessary nutrients.
Other studies have shown that TMJ sufferers often have a poor immune system due in part to chronic stress, which affects the TMJ and your immune system. Chewing problems can also lead to immune disorders because nearly 80% of your immune tissue is located in your gut.
Undigested foods will set off alarms in your immune system. Your immune system will attack your body, which can also lead to food sensitivities and inflammation. A malfunctioning immune system could mean a higher risk of infection and chronic disease.
Neurological Involvement with TMJ
There is also some neurological involvement with TMJ that will affect various areas of the body. Tight and strained muscles put undue pressure on the nerves; this may lead to numbness or tingling in the face and throughout the upper body. Many people exhibit very concerning neurological symptoms that could indicate a much more serious, even life-threatening problem, other than TMJ.
For this reason, it’s imperative to put your health in the hands of someone with Dr. Raman’s knowledge and experience. Dr. Raman will perform a comprehensive examination after getting a thorough medical history, and neuromuscular technology that tracks the sounds and movements of the jaw will confirm a TMJ diagnosis.
If you have practiced some at-home treatments for TMJ to no avail, it’s time to contact Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep. Many people who visit the Center have tried improving their posture, wearing store-bought mouthguards, and eating only soft food. Some patients buy at-home TENS units. Many patients try yoga and other stress and anxiety-reducing relaxation techniques. While all of these treatments may provide some relief, that relief will likely be short-lived.
Contact Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep Today
If you live in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, you’re not far at all from Dr. Prabu Raman at Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep. Please call the Center (816) 436-4422, or fill out our online contact form. One of our amazing neuromuscular dentistry team members will get in touch to schedule a new patient evaluation or answer some questions you may have.
Why suffer any longer with the painful symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder when you can start treatment right away? Dr. Raman has treated people from the Kansas City area, other states, Canada, and even overseas using highly effective neuromuscular dentistry technology. He can help you, too.