The term ‘lock-jaw’ alone has an ominous ring to it. Yet, it is, unfortunately, a daily reality for many persons suffering from misdiagnosed and unmanaged problems of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint that links your jawbone to the skull. Early detection of TMJ issues and treatment from your dentist could help you avoid significant discomfort. Therefore, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should consult your Springfield TMJ specialist about the likelihood of a TMJ disorder.


Whereas most headaches may be relieved with a healthy dosage of ibuprofen, a little nap, or enough water, TMJ headaches are persistent. TMJ might be to blame if you wake up most mornings with a headache that radiates from your jaw, between your ears, or even above your eyes.

Clicking or Popping Sound

Cracking or popping your knuckles is not the same as popping your jaw joint. TMJ’s early warning sign is clicking and popping in the jaw, which can begin months or years before additional symptoms appear. The body’s joints are designed to function smoothly; hence, a clicking or popping feeling may indicate a joint dysfunction or misaligned bite.

Soreness After Smiling, Talking, Or Eating

It should not be difficult or uncomfortable to smile, eat, or talk. No one desires to be in agony after enjoying a nice meal with family or talking on the phone with a friend. TMJ renders these simple pleasures uncomfortable, if not unpleasant. For persons with TMJ, a long conversation, a huge sandwich, or even continuous smiling and laughing could cause significant stiffness in the cheek and jaw muscles.

Bruxism Or Teeth Grinding

One of the primary reasons for TMJ is bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. An individual may grind their teeth because of anxiety or stress. It is generally an unintentional habit that may occur when one is awake or asleep.

Numerous folks clench or grind their teeth when concentrating on a task, such as daily commuting or operating in front of a PC. Not only may bruxism lead to dental issues like cracked or chipped teeth, which may necessitate bridges, crowns, implants, and other restorations, but it could also lead to excruciating jaw pain. In extreme cases, it could also result in a momentary lockjaw and limit the range of motion in your mouth, rendering it hard to open and close your mouth.

Ear Ringing And Pressure

Most persons with TMJ experience ear ringing. Actually, a recent study highlights that 94% of all instances of ear ringing are associated with TMJ disorders. Other ear symptoms, including ear fullness, ear discomfort, and vertigo, can cause patients with TMJ to mistakenly seek therapy from an ENT specialist when they need to see a dentist.

You should never ignore any TMJ disorder symptoms as they could significantly affect your life quality or develop into more serious concerns. At Advantage Dental Care, your dentist may discuss the root of your problems and the available treatment alternatives, including an oral splint and nightguard. Schedule an initial consultation through mobile or book online today to find out more.