The Best Guide to Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Are you experiencing tingling or numbness in your fingers? If so, you may blame it on the typing or other repetitive work you perform at your job. However, it’s important to know that it might also be caused by jaw problems. A lot of patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) experience tingling / numbness in fingers and arms. If you have consulted a doctor about this condition; however, have not found the cause, consider consulting with a neuromuscular dentist.

What is TMD?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge in the jaw that connects the jaw to the skull. It lets you move your jaw up and down to eat and talk. If this joint experiences an issue, you will suffer from TMD which comes with pain. There are many causes of this pain and your risk of developing TMD increases when you have plenty of stress or are quite sensitive to pain.  TMD is usually caused by frequent cleaning or grinding of the teeth, TMJ arthritis, anxiety, bad teeth, bad posture, and others.

Symptoms of TMD

The degree of the pain experienced because of TMD varies. While some patients report sharp, unbearable stabs of pain, others experience dull aches that persist.

Below are the most common symptoms of TMD:

  • Headaches and migraines. Migraines and headaches because of TMD differ from allergies to sinus-induced headaches. These conditions do not responsive to medicine, returns frequently, and may occur along with jaw pain or tenderness.
  • Ear pain. Patients with TMD usually complain about ringing in the ears or buzzing. This happens when the jaw misalignment leads to stress which radiates up the jaw line and irritates the ear canal.
  • Neck and back pain. TMJ can cause pain that radiates down the neck and back. Poor posture can exacerbate this pain. For instance, thrusting the head forward while sitting at the desk can strain the jaw and force it to rest in the open position.

  • Congestion. A stuffy nose that does not go away is a symptom of TMD. The ears, nose, and throat are closely connected that when the jaw line is aggravated, mucus will be excessively produced. Usually, people with TMD will not get their needed relief from decongestants alone.
  • Shoulder pain. The stress carried in the jaw will radiate down the body. For instance, when the jaw is becoming fatigued due to poor posture, this will tense up the shoulders to compensate for the exhaustion, resulting in shoulder pain.

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