Painful Side Effects of TMJ Disorder

TMJ Disorder (also referred to as TMJD or TMD) is a debilitating condition that causes jaw pain and limited function. Although most of us experience jaw pain from time to time, clinical TMJD is linked to chronic discomfort and interference with your day to day activities.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Limited range of motion (opening)
  • Popping and clicking from your joint
  • Deviation when opening
  • Pain

But what you might not realize is that TMJD can lead to a host of painful side effects that you don’t even realize are coming from your TMJ area. Here are some of the most common.

Headaches and Migraines

Depending on when your TMJ pain flares up, the tension within your jaw joint is constantly pulling and stressing the muscles around it. In other words, the ones that radiate across your forehead, face, and scalp. Muscle fatigue and pain can cause what feels like chronic headaches and migraines.

If you get headaches on a frequent basis, be sure to let Dr. Yazdan know. We’ll want to screen you for common oral signs of TMJ disorder to rule out the risk of any jaw problems contributing to your headache pain.


In addition to TMJD headaches, ear pain is extremely common. Throbbing, shooting earaches may not be due to an ear infection at all. Rather, they could be the side effect of constant pressure in the TMJ. Maybe you’re clenching the joint due to stress throughout your day, on the commute home, or while you’re sleeping. The next thing you know, a sharp earache is the first thing to grab your attention. If your MD or ENT has already told you that your ears look completely fine, then it’s time to play detective. Be sure to mention your earache symptoms to our Newport Beach dentist during your exam.

Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain 

Headaches from TMJD make sense, since your facial muscles are immediately next to your jaw. But your jaw muscles and the tension they create can also reach well into your neck, shoulders, and upper back. It’s not unheard of for people who have jaw pain to also experience shoulder discomfort and upper back pain. Any time you have muscles contracting near your jaw, they pull at the opposite end at the same time; and some of those tissues reach well past your shoulders!

TMJ Pain Treatment in Newport Beach

The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry offers therapeutic bite splints to manage TMJ pain. If you have clinical TMJD or jaw pain, we will assess the surrounding tissues to determine the best therapeutic treatment. The great news is that non-surgical jaw pain treatment is usually most effective. A custom nightguard, bite splint, moist heat, and sometimes even injectables can be extremely helpful.

Dr. Yazdan is one of Newport Beach’s top cosmetic dentists. New patient appointments are currently available. Call us today to reserve a TMJ consultation in our private dental practice.

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