TMJ Symptoms

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or sometimes TMD), is sometimes described as a mysterious condition because its many symptoms can make it hard to diagnose. We can help if you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get care for any of the following symptoms:

These symptoms are often attributed to other illnesses, sometimes individually or sometimes jointly, but they can all be linked to TMJ.

What Is TMJ?

Many people are surprised and dismayed at the diversity of symptoms caused by TMJ. How can one illness result in so many symptoms, they ask.

In its simplest form, it’s an irregularity in the function of one or both temporomandibular joints, the joints that link the lower jaw to the skull. This basic dysfunction might take the form of displaced cushioning discs in the jaw joint, or it might be irregular motion or an irregular resting position. For some people, that’s all it is, but for many people, it develops into something much more complex.

The temporomandibular joints are located at the crossroads of the body. Many of the body’s most important nerves pass by or even through the temporomandibular joint. Some of the body’s largest blood vessels are in that area. And the body’s vital airway passes right between the temporomandibular joints.

With such a complex and crowded environment, it’s no wonder that a simple jaw dysfunction can lead to far-ranging effects. Inefficient muscle movements can make the jaw muscles sore—facial pain—and lead the jaw to recruit assistance from neck muscles, causing neck pain. Pinched nerves can lead to headaches, tingling, and numbness. And the ear, with its delicate hearing and balance organs, is actually located in the temporal bone—part of the temporomandibular joint.

Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is an approach to your jaw health that focuses on the harmonious relationship between the muscles, bones, cartilage, and nerves of the jaw system. An important foundation of this approach is that if the jaw is in a healthy, relaxed position and capable of free and open movement through its entire range, it won’t pinch nerves or stress partner muscles.

TMJ treatment through neuromuscular dentistry involves identifying your jaw’s healthy, relaxed position and then helping it stay there through the use of a bite splint or even reconstructive dentistry. Although neuromuscular dentistry is very successful for many people, it’s not the only approach to TMJ treatment, and it can be supplemented with physical therapy, laser therapy, medication, or surgery as appropriate.

If you want to learn how TMJ is causing your symptoms and learn how treatment can help and live in the Detroit area, please call (248) 480-0085 or email us for an appointment at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness.

Detroit Michigan TMJ dentist reviews findings of a male patient suffering from pain and bad bite
Detroit Michigan TMJ dentist places a unit on top of a patients head to review his bite and facial pain

The Journey

It all started a year ago. I awoke one day and out of the blue I was very dizzy. This was followed by extreme nausea and ringing on the ears to the extent that it would be so loud as to block out conversations. I had to chart a course when entering a room so that I always had a “safe” landing spot to prevent bad falls. I carried bags with me to help contain the nausea. For the next several months I went through every test imaginable trying to diagnose my illness. I went to physical therapy. Saw a chiropractor. Had CAT scans done. Had X-rays taken and had MRI’s preformed. I saw an ENT specialist and a neurologist. I was told by several doctors that I had Meniere's disease and that there was no cure for it. I went a year without driving for fear of having an episode of severe dizziness. I had all but given up when I heard that Dr. Haddad had been researching the treatment of TMJ/TMD which had similar side effects to my illness. I started my treatments and for over 30 days I noticed no improvement. Then on the 5th week I started noticing a lessoning of my symptoms. Each day my symptoms were less and less. I am now in my 10th week of treatment and I am 90% cured! I will be forever grateful to Dr. Haddad and his staff in returning my life to me!

In July of 20211 became a patient of Dr. Jeffrey Haddad. I arrived at the office with facial pain, ear throbbing, headache, and neck pain due to TMD disorder. An orthotic was made for me which I initially wore 24 hours a day. I had monthly TENS treatments and adjustments of the orthotic. Within one month of treatment, I was able to remove the orthotic for meals; and by September 2021, with Dr. Haddad’s diligent approach, I was doing so well that most of my symptoms abated.

In late October I was 90-95% better. My bite was normal, and my TMD symptoms corrected.

I want to thank Dr. Jeffrey Haddad for his kind approach and successful treatment. I would also like to thank the office staff, particularly Christine, Ashley, and Nicki, for their capable explanations of procedures and oversight of the treatments. They made me feel comfortable and secure.

Thanks again, Dr. Haddad and staff.
Cecilia K.

Self Screening: Are You at Risk for TMJ?

young woman suffering from TMJ pain rubs the side of her mouth

TMJ Assessment

TMJ is commonly misdiagnosed. Use our custom self-assessment to determine if you should talk to a TMJ dentist about your symptoms