Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome - Symptoms

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome.
For temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?
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See what others are saying

Published: October 22

I've had TMJ since I was 12 years old. I'm 34 now, so it's been a 22-year-old problem for me. I'm fortunate that mine doesn't cause a huge amount of daily problems. I've had one bad experience in which it locked and when I forced it open it popped something awful. It caused me a lot of ear pain. So much that I actually thought I had an ear ache and went to the doctor to make certain. I know to not force it open now. I think it was a panic moment at that time. I have noticed that it's slowly getting worse as I get older. It's difficult to be out in the cold. It aches worse and I have trouble talking. The dentist visits are getting very hard. I end up w/ a headache and a jaw ache afterwards. I think I was fortunate to have a good orthodontist when it first started who tried to fix it. He managed to minimize the popping sound which could be heard all the way across a large room and corrected my overbite, but it never fully rid of the TMJ. Now it pops, but only I hear it which I'm thankful for as it would be embarrassing now. I have been told surgery is really a last resort and my pain and problems right now do not warrant for it and I hope never do..

Published: October 16

I am 51, and I have been living with TMJ since I was in my early 20's. I have gone through treatment several times, and it gets very costly! The joints on both sides are totally deteriorated. I guess my jaw is locked shut. I am able to open my mouth one finger wide. I taught myself how to speak with very little movement in my jaw. However by doing so, at the end of the day my whole head, neck, and shoulders are killing me. I'm thinking I might need to learn how to sign, because at the rate I'm going, speaking may no longer be an option for me. I am so frightened of what's to come! Mostly because I can no longer afford treatment. My TMJ has never gone away, it has only gotten worse! What is a person to do when nothing seems to help! TMJ has prevented me from even keeping a steady job..