Symptoms of TMJ/TMD

Visit Our London, ON Practice to Learn What is Causing Your TMD Symptoms

TMJ disorders can mimic other conditions because they have similar symptoms. This confusion causes patients to go frequently to their medical doctor or dentist for advice and treatment. Unfortunately, TMJ treatment is not part of the curriculum of most medical and dental schools in North America. For this reason, Dr. Sep and Dr. Rondeau have received special training after dental school on how to diagnosis and treat TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of TMDWatch More Videos

TMD symptoms vary from person to person. Some common ones are:

  • Headaches
  • Tired jaws after eating, chewing gum, etc.
  • Earaches, congestion or ringing in the ears
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Neck/shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Pain with chewing
  • Facial Pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Limited ability to open the mouth or jaw locking
  • Difficulty closing the teeth together, misaligned bite
  • Numbness in hands or fingers

Signs that you may have a TMJ problem:

Persistent Ear Problems

When the lower jaw is too far back when the patient swallows or bites on their back teeth this causes the top of the lower jaw bone to press on the nerves and blood vessels in front of the ear. This causes fluids to enter the ear canal and can cause numerous ear symptoms such as ear pain, loss of hearing, ringing in the ears (Tinnitius), buzzing or stuffiness, dizzy spells, vertigo and balance problems.

If your family doctor or ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist cannot find evidence of infection and therefore no apparent reason for your ear problems, there is a good chance that you have a TMJ Disorder.

Patients who clench and grind their teeth all night sometimes causes the muscles around the eutherian tube to contract excessively which causes numerous ear symptoms as listed above.


  1. Lower daytime appliance is worn to move the lower jaw away from the ear to prevent the unpleasant ear symptoms.
  2. Upper appliance worn at night to prevent the clenching and grinding of the teeth.

Unexplained Headaches

People with TMD often complain of headaches that do not have an obvious cause. Sometimes, the pain can be so severe that the headaches are misdiagnosed as migraines. TMJ headaches usually originate in the temple area, behind the eyes and in the back of the head, with the pain radiating to the neck and shoulders. Migraine headaches, however, are typically only on one side, often accompanied by visual disturbances, extreme sensitivity to light, and nausea.

The treatment for TMJ-related headaches and migraines are vastly different. Therefore, it is important for patients to get professional advice. For migraines, a neurologist is usually the best type of doctor to see. However, for TMJ-related headaches, it is better to see a dentist or TMD specialist, like Dr. Sep or Dr. Rondeau.

Jaw Clicking and Popping

In a healthy jaw there is a cartilage disc that acts like a protective cushion between the top of the lower jaw bone and the upper jaw. Clicking jaw means the piece of cartilage is out of position when the patient opens and closes. The solution would be to wear a lower appliance all day to move the jaw to the correct position.

Jaw Locking

When left untreated, TMD will continue to progress and can actually cause your jaw to become locked in either the open or closed position. Jaw locking, though usually temporary, is extremely painful. Patients who notice the early signs of TMD, like popping and clicking, are highly encouraged to seek treatment before their TMJ disorder reaches this stage.

Sleep Problems

Patients with TMD will often experience jaw muscle spasms throughout the night, causing pain that wakes them up. Teeth clenching or grinding, or bruxism, has a similar effect. If this continues to happen each night, it is impossible to get a good night’s sleep, which can leave a person feeling tired throughout the day and lead to worrisome health problems.


While it may not seem obvious, depression is a common sign of untreated TMD. When a patient is not getting the right answers from their family doctor or ENT specialist, likely because they have not been trained to look for TMD, the patient’s frustration and desperation continue to grow, without any end in sight.

If you notice any of the signs of TMJ disorder, don’t wait! Contact TMJ Treatment today to schedule a consultation and evaluation.