There are many reasons behind temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction or TMD because it connects the jawbone with the skull. In the oral context, TMD results from a disconnect between the jaw joint and the current status and positioning of your teeth.

Here are the most telling signs of this disorder.

1. Clicking and Popping Sounds

People with TMD may experience a popping, clicking, or grating sound from the vicinity of the TMJ when moving their mouths, especially when opening and closing them, indicating a displaced disc.

They may range from loud enough for only them to hear or loud enough to be audible to the people around them. However, these sounds alone don’t indicate TMD. It’s only when they’re accompanied by limited jaw movement and pain that you should suspect a problem in your TMJ.

2. Muscle Pain

Speaking of pain, muscle pain is yet another sign of TMD. You may feel mild to severe discomfort or a stiff feeling in your cheek and temple muscles, specifically where the joint is located.

A good way to tell whether or not you have TMD is to take note of it first thing in the morning. If you feel sore and stiff near the TMJ, you’ve probably spent the night pressing or grinding your teeth, a common—but not inevitable—reaction to TMD.

You can prevent grinding and all the pain it brings through a customized bite splint, also known as a nightguard, which stops you from grinding your teeth through a biting platform and moves your mandible to a more comfortable and painless position.

Close-up of a Female Putting on an Acrylic Nightguard with Both Hands

3. Joint Pain

Arthritis of the TMJ isn’t always accompanied by joint pain, nor does it always show up on an x-ray. Sometimes you might experience pain around your TMJ, but it may not be visible on a radiograph. Other times, you might not experience any joint pain or discomfort but end up seeing it on a radiograph.

Either way, you’ll have arthritis of the TMJ. Since this condition isn’t curable, you have no other choice but to go for the second-best option: medication for symptom relief.

Receive TMJ treatment at our dentistry center in Royal Oak, MI. Book a dental examination and diagnosis to know the root cause of your TMD or any other dental condition, and let us help you find long-term relief from it all.

Schedule an appointment to see one of our dentists in Royal Oak, MI.