Other Symptoms Associated with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

There are some symptoms that occasionally accompany TMJD. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should record them and then consult with your health care practitioner.

  • pain in the shoulders, back, or neck
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision or double vision
  • vertigo and nausea
  • grinding of the teeth
  • hearing problems
  • pain in front of the ears

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The causes of TMJD are numerous, and depend upon what kind of TMJD you have. Joint TMJD is more commonly caused by trauma to the mouth muscles and temporomandibular joint. It can also be caused by problems with the teeth and gums, abnormal chewing, or grinding of the teeth.

Muscular TMJD has been the subject of recent study. It is thought that muscular TMJD, like fibromyalgia itself, may be caused by a problem with the way the body interprets pain signals. Studies show that differing levels in epinephrine and other chemicals in the body can influence a person’s pain threshold.

Researchers have also isolated three different genes thought to be responsible for changes in pain threshold. Factors including physical and emotional stress have also been indicated as causes of muscular TMJD. However, it is unknown if these factors cause the disorder or merely make the condition worse.

Effects of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder on Fibromyalgia

TMJD can negatively affect the course of your fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, studies show that people who face both fibromyalgia and TMJD tend to have increased pain and suffering. In particular, TMJD tends to make trigger points in the body more sensitive to pain.

Treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

If you are suffering from TMJD, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. It is important that you consult with a TMJD specialist in order to get your symptoms diagnosed. Your dentist should be able to give you a referral. This way, you will be able to start effective treatments right away.

The best treatment for TMJD is usually physical therapy, which involves specific exercises for the neck and jaw region. The use of heat, ice, and massage are also recommended.

For serious pain, facial splints or orthotics may be helpful in preventing bruxism and other symptoms. Medications, including muscle relaxants and over-the-counter medications, are also effective ways to reduce TMJD pain.

Alternative therapies are also helpful in treating the symptoms of TMJD. Biofeedback therapy is used by many sufferers to help reduce repetitive movements and to correct poor posture.


Table of Contents
1. Joint Disorder
2. Painful jaw?
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