TMJ causes so many symptoms—many you’d never even imagine—that some patients with full-blown TMD never have a single pop or click of their jaw.
Clicking, popping and grinding noises coming from one’s jaw are almost always caused by TMJ disorder.
But many of the other symptoms caused by TMJ disorder can also be caused by many other unrelated conditions.
For example, tinnitus (e.g., a hissing, buzzing, crackling or very high pitched tone that only the patient can hear) can not only be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, but it can also be caused by excessive wax buildup in the ear, damage from loud environments or a brain tumor.
“It is widely misunderstood what symptoms fall under with a temporomandibular joint disorder,” says Jeffrey Haddad, DDS, of Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry in Rochester, MI.
“Because the word ‘joint’ is in this heading, most patients, physicians and even dentists believe clicking, popping or pain in the TM joints needs to be present if a person is considered a ‘TMJ’ patient,” continues Dr. Haddad.
“This can be true of many patients, but does not need to be the case for a patient to have a TMJ disorder.”
The temporomandibular joint is far more complex than most people assume.
“The majority of TMJ patients I treat have no noise in their joints, no actual discomfort in their jaws and have an extremely healthy dentition,” says Dr. Haddad.
“Unfortunately, they are suffering daily with migraines and muscular tension headaches, ear congestion and pain, upper cervical tension and discomfort, and ringing in the ears or vertigo.
“Therefore, I have been trying to describe these patients without using the word ‘TMJ disorder’ and more appropriately, ‘craniofacial pain’ patients.”
Here is more information about the kind of brain tumor that can cause tinnitus.
Dr. Haddad lectures nationally on cosmetic dentistry, TMJ disorders and practice marketing, and utilizes the latest technology to ensure the utmost in patient comfort and care.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.