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TMJ - Know the Symptoms, Fix the Source

Neuromuscular Dentist Offering Dental Consultations
Naples, FL

Symptoms of TMJ / TMD vary in each patient.  Click on the links below for more information on these common neuromuscular symptoms:

Headaches / Migraine
With strain on the jaw muscles, constant contraction creates tension in the head and neck area.  With contraction, blood flow may be reduced and your body may compensate by sending excess blood to the affected area, resulting in headaches.  The trigeminal nerve center receives input from the upper and lower jaw, the neck, and the ears. When these stimuli overload the nerve center (like what happens when your bite or bite trajectory is off), this leads to headaches and/or migraines. Headaches may start small, and then grow more uncomfortable and more painful until they feel like migraines.  Headaches are a common sign of a TMJ / TMD problem and should be reviewed by a neuromuscular dentist if they continue.  Contact Dr. Massa for your personalized appointment.

Facial Pain
Facial pain can be caused by an uneven bite, meaning that the jaw muscles are not working properly.  When these muscles function inefficiently, they experience signs of stress, including pain, swelling and discomfort.  Because the jaw muscles run from ear to ear, symptoms of jaw distress may surface in the face.  Facial pain is a common sign of a TMJ / TMD problem and should be reviewed by a neuromuscular dentist if it continues.  Contact Dr. Massa for your personalized appointment. 

Neck and Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain may also be caused by an uneven bite, when the jaws do not come together as they should.  When the jaw muscles function inefficiently, the surrounding tissue may experience signs of stress, including pain, swelling and discomfort.  Because the jaw muscles run from ear to ear, symptoms of jaw distress may surface in the head, neck and shoulders.  Neck and shoulder pain is a common sign of a TMJ / TMD problem as the neck muscles become overworked and fatigued trying to balance the head posture being thrown off by stressed/fatigued bite muscles. This should be reviewed by a neuromuscular dentist if it continues.  Contact Dr. Massa for your personalized neuromuscular appointment.

Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a common sign of a TMJ / TMD problem.  When a person suffers from a bad bite, s/he may experience pain, swelling, and other side effects throughout the face and head.  Because of the close proximity of the jaw muscles and bone to the ear canals, ringing in the ears often signals a bite dysfunction.  If you are experiencing frequent tinnitus, contact Dr. Massa for your personalized neuromuscular appointment.

Unexplained Loose Teeth
Usually when a patient experiences tooth loss, it can be quickly attributed to either decay from advanced gum disease, or injury.  If a patient loses one or multiple teeth without a clear cause, he or she may be experiencing a TMJ / TMD problem, or bad bite.  When the teeth are improperly aligned, and the jaw muscles experience excessive stress, your overall oral health can suffer.  Unexplained tooth loss is often attributed to a neuromuscular problem and should be reviewed by a trained neuromuscular dentist. If you have recently lost a tooth and aren’t sure why, contact Dr. Massa for your personalized neuromuscular appointment.

Sensitive and Sore Teeth
Sensitivity, soreness, pain, and swelling in the teeth and gums may signal any number of dentistry problems.  You may be experiencing overcrowding, and the soreness results as the teeth are fighting for a stable position.  You may be experiencing decay, in which case the bacteria is eating away at tooth surfaces and causing pain in your nerve endings.  Soreness may also signal that you have a crack in the enamel.  Sensitive teeth are also a common sign of neuromuscular problems that may need neuromuscular treatment. When the muscles of your bite are not in balance with the teeth contact-position, one or more teeth may be under intense stress, leading to sensitive and sore teeth. To get to the root of your problem, and find quick relief, contact Dr. Massa right away for a consultation.

Depression
Depression is a little known sign of TMJ / TMD problems.  When a person suffers from a bad bite, he or she may be affected in many ways.  For some, the stress and discomfort caused by the unhealthy jaw muscles is overwhelming, and depression is often an unfortunate accompanying symptom.  Click here to read about other symptoms of neuromuscular problems.  If you suffer from depression and suspect it may be related to your oral health, contact Dr. Massa for a neuromuscular evaluation.

Jaw Pain
Pain in the jaw joints and muscles is one of the clearest signs of a TMJ / TMD problem.  When a person suffers from a bad bite, their jaw muscles must work overtime to perform functions like chewing and speaking.  Overuse of these muscles often manifests itself quickly as jaw discomfort and pain.  If you are experiencing jaw pain, you may need neuromuscular treatment to correct your bite.  Contact Dr. Massa today for your neuromuscular evaluation.

Limited Jaw Movement or Locking Jaw
When a person suffers from a TMJ / TMD problem, the unhealthy bite will eventually lead to a host of other problems, which may include limitations in jaw movement.  Because the jaw joints and muscles are not functioning properly and experiencing stress, their movement may eventually become prohibited as they lose vital oxygen and fill up with acid byproducts and toxins. A locking jaw is a frightening side effect that some neuromuscular patients experience.  Neuromuscular treatment can free you of this cycle of painful fatigue. Contact Dr. Massa for an evaluation.

Numbness in the Fingers and Arms
Some TMJ / TMD patients may experience numbness in the fingers and arms as a side effect of an unharmonious bite.  When the muscles in the jaw become stressed and experience frequent contraction, the muscles in the neck and shoulders may also suffer painful side effects.  Pinching of the shoulder brachial plexus nerves can cause tingling in the fingers and arms, and lead to other unusual side effects.  If you’ve experienced numbness in the fingers and arms, you may need neuromuscular treatment.  Contact Dr. Massa right away for a personal neuromuscular evaluation.

Clicking or Popping in the Jaw Joints
When the jaw joints are misplaced due to an unhealthy bite, TMJ / TMD patients may complain of clicking or popping sounds.  While attempting to move your jaw, you may feel like it is catching, and an unusual noise may accompany this sudden stop in movement, often indicating a displaced disc.  Not only is this side effect uncomfortable, but it may also signal that stress on the jaw joints is becoming increasingly worse.  Patients who experience clicking or popping in the jaw joints should see an experienced neuromuscular dentist as soon as possible.  Contact Dr. Massa for your personal TMJ / TMD evaluation.


Unfortunately, many of the common signs of a neuromuscular problem are often misdiagnosed by doctors who don’t have a background in treating TMJ / TMD.  We hope to inform consumers of the importance of having the above symptoms evaluated by a trained neuromuscular dentist. 

If you’ve experienced any signs of TMJ / TMD problems, contact an experienced Naples neuromuscular dentist right away.  Dr. James W. Massa and his staff have extensive experience treating a variety of jaw and bite problems. 

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James W. Massa, DDS
2220 Venetian Court, Suite 1
Naples, FL 34109

Dr. James W. Massa, D.D.S.
Exceptional Smile Design & Neuromuscular Treatment

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