Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD (sometimes also called TMJ) is a disorder that causes the jaw to become irritated or inflamed. This condition can bring on several side effects that affect other parts of your body.
TMD is challenging to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to those in other diseases and affect what seems like separate parts of the body.
Why TMD Happens
The jawbone is connected to your skull by ligaments located next to your ears, which allow you to open your mouth, and move it side to side. If you place a finger by the opening of your ears, on either side of the face, you can feel the temporomandibular joint working.
It is unclear why some people's jaws become disjointed, but TMD causes mild to severe pain and can significantly affect your quality of life. Being in constant pain can impact the way in which you go about your everyday activities and even lead to depression in some instances.
Unusual TMD Symptoms
You could be suffering from TMD and not know it. Millions of people deal with symptoms stemming from dislocation or inflammation of the jawbone and think their condition is something else. Some unusual TMD symptoms you may notice can be:
Dizziness - the temporomandibular joint is in close to bones in the middle ear, which is responsible for controlling balance. If you feel dizzy at times, it could be TMD, though this is also a symptom of other things such as prescription medications.
Back pain - TMD can affect the neck muscles which can extend to cause pain in the spine. There are many reasons why the back can hurt, including injury while exercising.
Difficulty sleeping - one of the most common TMD symptoms is clenching and grinding of the teeth at night. Some people can even disrupt their partner's sleep at night.
It's important to diagnose the underlying reason for TMD and to let us know if you think you suffer from this condition.
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