TMJ disorder is a very complex problem that can have widespread effects on other areas of the body. In fact, some of the areas of the body that can be affected by TMJ problems may surprise you! In this post, Dr. Ivan Stein, a New Jersey TMJ specialist, sheds light on some of the lesser-known symptoms of TMD.
Dizziness or Problems with Balance
Vertigo occurs when the vestibular system — which is essential to movement and equilibrium — is thrown out of whack. One of the primary components of the vestibular system, called the labyrinth, is located in the inner ear, near the temporal bone that attaches the jaw joint to the skull. Experts believe that when the muscles and ligaments around the jaw become inflamed, it can affect the labyrinth, causing vertigo.
Ear Pain, Clogged Ears and Tinnitus
People with TMD can experience ear pain, the sensation of clogged ears or tinnitus (i.e., a ringing of the ears). Since the TMJ is located very close to the ears, stress or damage to the ligaments and cartilage surrounding the joint can lead to ear-related symptoms.
Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain
The jaw muscles interact with the neck muscles that hold the spine in alignment. When these muscles are overworked or fatigued, it can cause pain to radiate throughout the head, neck and torso, causing discomfort or numbness in the neck, shoulders and even the lower back.
Finger Numbness or Tingling
To compensate for jaw misalignment or jaw pain, someone with TMD may tilt their neck in an unnatural position. This can put pressure on nerves surrounding the neck, causing the arms, hands and fingers to tingle or go numb.
Talk to Our TMJ Specialist Today
The aforementioned symptoms aren’t always caused by TMJ problems — there are plenty of other reasons why you might suffer from neck pain or tingling fingers. But if you experience any of these symptoms along with jaw pain, popping or clicking, it might be wise to be checked for TMJ disorder.
If it is determined that TMJ disorder is causing your symptoms, Dr. Stein can talk to you about the available treatment options and make recommendations for your particular case.
To book an appointment with Dr. Stein, please call or email Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey today.