So, where exactly is my TMJ?
Your TMJ is actually quite easy to find. To place your jaw joint, trace your finger from right under your cheekbone to just in front of the middle of your ear. Can you feel that joint when you open and close your jaw? Do you feel the movement of your jaw joint against your skull? That’s your TMJ – the point where your lower jaw attaches to the skull.
When stress is placed on the TMJ, people can experience an assortment of symptoms, such as headaches, tingling in your fingers and back of your hand, back pain and pain in your neck or shoulders.
When the jaw is out of alignment, the upper and lower teeth meet incorrectly in a “bad bite”. The dental name for your bite is occlusion, and a bad bite is malocclusion. The jaw muscles strain at everything they do. Even while at rest, stress is put on them because of the misaligned joint. If stress is being placed on the TMJ and surrounding muscles, you may develop certain symptoms, including:
- Tingling in your fingers and in the back of your hand
- Pain in your shoulders or neck
Another little trick? Place your little fingers, pads forward, in your ear canals and gently pull forward. Open and close your mouth. Do you feel any clicking, popping or grinding? That’s a stressed TMJ and you should seek treatment for it immediately. Contact Dr. Tim Stirneman to see if you suffer from TMJ and what he can do for you.