TMJ Symptoms & Conditions

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

The pain and discomfort associated with TMJ are scientifically treatable. You do not need to live life in pain. Ask yourself if you suffer from any of the symptoms discussed on this page. If so, you may be a candidate for TMJ treatment in Los Angeles, California. Schedule a comprehensive consultation with our dentist by calling 310-475-5598.

TMJ Self-Examination Checklist


Approximately 90 percent of people suffer from headaches within any given year! Headaches can range from mildly uncomfortable to unbearably painful and can impact your day-to-day functions. Regardless of their intensity, headaches are an inconvenient part of life that we may be able to help you avoid.


Anyone who has ever had a migraine can attest to the incredible pain and discomfort that is associated with them. This most intense form of headache causes not only unbearable pain but also sensitivity to sound and light, muscle pain that can radiate throughout the body, nausea, and sometimes even nausea or altered vision perceptions. Unlike a simple headache, which may still allow a person to go about their day, a migraine can be severe enough to affect your day-to-day functions. If you experience migraines, we may be able to help stop them once and for all by treating TMJ and other neuromuscular dentistry conditions that may be causing them.

Ringing in the Ear or Diminished Hearing

Is there anything quite as piercing as a ringing in the ear? Most people know it as an uncomfortable and rare condition that never lasts too long. Those who experience chronic ringing in the ears, however, can experience prolonged ringing that can just about drive them crazy. In addition, these people are susceptible to diminished hearing ability due to the constant ringing.

Ear Congestion

Ear congestion usually does not give its victims a second thought. A simple cleaning will usually do to clear ear congestion, and life goes on as usual. Some ear congestion, however, is caused by TMJ and can be too deep in the ear to clean. This ear congestion can cause diminished hearing, pain in the ear, susceptibility to ear infections and annoying crackling noises in the ear. If a simple cleaning will not clear your ear congestion or you experience chronic ear congestion over a sustained period of time, you might have ear congestion caused by TMJ.

Vertigo, Dizziness

Dizziness is a disorienting condition that makes its victims feel as if the earth around them is moving. Sometimes this can be internalized and can actually feel as if the sufferer’s head is spinning. Vertigo is a more serious form of dizziness that affects balance. Those experiencing vertigo usually experience intense dizziness combined with the inability to stand, balance or distinguish which direction is up or down. Balance is controlled by the inner ear, which can be affected by the pressures on that area that is caused during TMJ. If you experience dizziness and vertigo, it may be caused by TMJ.

Visual Disturbances

Visual disturbances are often experienced in conjunction with the beginning of an intense headache or migraine. Indeed, approximately one-third of migraine sufferers experience auras. Auras can consist of flickering lights, light halos or bright spots that usually appear at the onset of a migraine but can also appear before or during a migraine as well. With migraines causing severe pain and sensitivity to sound, sensitivity to light and inability to see properly can make migraines even more difficult to live and deal with.

Insomnia, Sleep Apnea

Insomnia and sleep apnea are both sleep disorders that can greatly reduce the amount of restful sleep a person gets at night, which can in turn lead to restlessness, fatigue, irritability and a weakened immune system. Insomnia is characterized by the inability to fall or stay asleep, and sleep apnea is a breathing condition that causes the sufferers to stop breathing in the middle of sleep, thus waking them up constantly throughout the night. Without restful sleep, there is no way to be fully productive and alert during the day.

Neck, Back, Shoulder, Arm Muscle Pain

Muscle pain, no matter where it is located, can greatly interfere with day-to-day life. One-time or mild pain can often be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin, or with massage, hot or cold compresses, or stretching. Chronic pain, however, can be debilitating; back pain is the number one cause for people to leave their jobs on disability. Often, the biggest problem with permanently treating muscle pain is being unable to find the cause of pain. Here at CCIND | Dr. Sid Solomon DDS | Cosmetic Dentist | TMJ Expert | Los Angeles, we may be able to not only pinpoint your pain but also treat it permanently.

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture, caused by anterior positioning of the cervical spine, can often cause neck and back pain, eye strain and a strange appearance. Forward head posture is often attributed to sitting for too long at a desk while at a computer or while reading but can also be a sign of severe TMJ. Correct posture is a necessity for strong neuromuscular health.

Loss of Balance

The inner ear controls balance in humans and is usually safe from damage since it is buried deep within the face and skull. The inner ear, however, lies directly next to the jaw hinge and thus can be greatly impacted by conditions affecting the jaw or jaw joints. Loss of balance can become chronic, which can cause difficulty walking, driving or concentrating on a fixed point. When accompanied by dizziness, vertigo can occur.

Tingling of the Fingertips

Our nerves radiate throughout our bodies and are connected in complex and interconnected ways. When one part of the body is injured or not working properly, nerves in other parts of the body can be affected. With TMJ, nerves to the fingertips are often intercepted and can cause tingling and numbness. Besides being annoying, numb or tingling fingers can mean an inability to grasp firmly or feel sensitive materials. This can cause difficulty typing, buttoning clothes, driving or even eating.

Restless Leg Syndrome

With TMJ, nerves to the legs are often intercepted and can cause tingling, restlessness and numbness. Often, this restlessness comes out at night when we are finally relaxed and not using our legs as we are during the day. Restless legs can often be so uncomfortable and intense that it can cause difficulty falling asleep and can even wake you up in the middle of the night.

Facial Pain

Pain anywhere in the body can be intrusive to daily activities, but pain in the face can often be the most uncomfortable and disruptive. Pain in the jaw or sinuses, behind or in the eyes, and in the cheek muscles can range from anywhere between uncomfortable to downright unbearable. One-time or mild pain can often be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin, or with massage, hot or cold compresses, or stretching. Chronic facial pain, however, can become a painful disruption to everyday life.

Pain Around or Behind the Eyes

One of the quickest ways to ruin a productive day is to experience eye pain. Not only does this cause a painful headache or migraine, but it also causes extreme sensitivity to light and inability to focus on a fixed point or to read. This means difficulty driving, reading, using a computer, writing, typing, watching TV or focusing on a meeting or lecture. Clearly, this type of pain can quickly become a serious problem, affecting your ability to work, play, relax or live life in a normal manner at all.

Jaw Pain

Pain in the jaw is often attributed to stress but is often a sign of a more serious and chronic neuromuscular dentistry problem. TMJ can cause intense jaw pain that can last for quite a long time. The pain might come and go over long periods of time or might be constant. Some people may experience pain after certain activities, such as first thing in the morning, after eating or at the end of the day. Jaw pain can lead to tension headaches, facial pain, ear pain or pain in the eyes and thus should be treated right away before the pain and tension have a chance to spread.

Limited Jaw Movement

With TMJ, the jaw is not aligned properly, and thus movement within the jaw can become limited. Eating, talking, drinking, breathing and kissing can all become difficult or painful with limited jaw movement, and it can lead to other problems, such as headaches, migraines, tension headaches, eye pain or jaw pain.

Clicking and Popping of the Jaw

Clicking and popping of the jaw is the number one sign of TMJ. The clicking and popping are due to misalignment of the jaw, as the jaw does not properly fit into its hinge. At best, the clicking and popping can be annoying, but at worst, the clicking and popping can be the first sign of worse things to come, such as facial pain, jaw pain, eye pain, headaches, vertigo or migraines. TMJ is common but treatable with the solutions we provide at CCIND | Dr. Sid Solomon DDS | Cosmetic Dentist | TMJ Expert | Los Angeles.

Clenching and Grinding

When the jaw becomes misaligned, the teeth do not lie properly along one another, which can cause clenching and grinding. This can cause the wearing away of the teeth but also severe pain in the jaw and face. While TMJ can often cause clenching and grinding, clenching and grinding can, in turn, make TMJ worse, creating a vicious cycle of discomfort and pain. If you find yourself waking up in the morning or the middle of the night with a tense jaw and clenched teeth, you may be experiencing the effects of TMJ.

Changes in the Bite

TMJ is caused by the misalignment of the jaw, which in turn changes the alignment of the teeth. Your teeth are placed in order to fit precisely against each other so as to not cause clenching, grinding, worn teeth or cracked teeth, as well as providing a jaw alignment that is best for chewing. If you have found that your bite has changed and you have difficulty chewing, you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ.

Worn or Cracked Teeth

When the teeth are constantly pressed up against each other in a misaligned manner, or if you are clenching or grinding them in your sleep, your teeth can become worn or cracked. While your teeth are naturally strong, they cannot withstand constant grinding and clenching. Eventually, the enamel will wear or crack, which can often be painful and cost a good deal of time and money in dental work.

Sensitive Teeth

Worn enamel cause sensitivity in the teeth, making hot or cold foods and beverages difficult to ingest. While special toothpastes and mouthwashes can help treat sensitive teeth, once the enamel is gone, there is no replacing it, so it is imperative to seek treatment for sensitive teeth at the first sign.

Myofascial Pain (Fibromyalgia)

Myofascial pain is a chronic form of pain that can affect the entire body, from headaches and jaw pain to lower back and leg pain. This kind of pain can be a one-time occurrence that happens very rarely but can often get worse with time and become chronic. Treating TMJ can often treat the cause of myofascial pain and help prevent it from spreading.

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