All About TMJ Disorder - Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Reviewed by  Monroe Elkin, BS PHARM., DMD

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TMJD can cause a wide range of side effects beyond those you might typically associate with temporomandibular joint disorders. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with a dentist or doctor to discuss your symptoms and risk factors. 

  • Head and scalp: TMJ patients have reported pain in the forehead and/or temples, migraine-like discomfort, sinus pain, cheek pain, and a shooting sensation traveling from the back of the neck into the head. Some people also find that their hair and scalp feel tender.
  • Eyes: People with TMJD might notice that their eyes are bloodshot or sensitive to light. An improperly situated temporomandibular joint may also cause one’s eyes to bulge.
  • Ears: Along with general ear pain, some people say their ears feel clogged or itchy. TMJ patients also report changes in their hearing, including hissing, buzzing, or ringing(tinnitus). A misaligned TMJ can also contribute to dizziness.
  • Mouth and jaw: People suffering from TMJD often experience limited mobility. Some of the classic indicators of TMJ are trouble opening the mouth smoothly, the jaw shifting to one side or the other when opening the mouth, or having the jaw lock closed or open. TMJ can also cause grating sounds, clicks or pops in your joints, and uncontrollable movements of the jaw and/or tongue.
  • Teeth: Loose or sore back teeth are a common symptom of TMJD, and bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding) may exacerbate the condition.
  • Throat: TMJ patients may have difficulty swallowing or have a sore throat without any other infection that might be the cause of discomfort. Laryngitis may also occur.
  • Neck: People with TMJD may experience neck stiffness and pain and tired or sore neck muscles.
  • Arm and shoulder: Arm and finger numbness sometimes occur in TMJD patients. Many patients also experience shoulder soreness and backaches, particularly if posture is a contributing factor to their TMJD.


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Reviewed by:

Monroe Elkin, BS PHARM., DMD

Monroe Elkin got a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy at Brooklyn College of Pharmacy in Brooklyn, New York. He then earned a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry at the University of Rutgers School of Dentistry in Newark New Jersey. Dr. Elkin owned and operated his own dental practices for 29 years where he specialized in treating oral injuries for athletes, fabricated custom fitted mouth guards and performed both general and trauma dentistry for athletes at Wagner College as dentist for the athletic department. He also performed cosmetic dentistry including implants, crown and bridges, bonding and endodontics. Dr. Elkin has been a part of 3 publications and has held various positions volunteering for organizations that are about sports dentistry and oral care.