San Francisco Center For TMJ And Sleep Apnea

TMJ Symptoms San Francisco

San Francisco TMJ Symptoms

It’s normal to feel your jaw pop every once in awhile, even to hear a click or two in your ear, or feel some discomfort in your head, neck, or shoulders after a long day. However, severe and constant facial pain, stiff and clicking jaw movements, earaches, chronic migraines, pain biting or chewing, constant sore muscles in your upper body, or extremely sensitive teeth that seem to have an off bite is not normal, and no one should have to live with these uncomfortable and inhibiting conditions. Does this lifestyle sound familiar? If so, then you might be one of the many unsuspecting TMJ sufferers, and should consider the help of San Francisco TMJ and Sleep Apnea Dr. Larson.

TMJ disorders are often progressive and can eventually cause extreme and persistent pain. Although TMJ is a disorder in the jaw, the symptoms of the disorder often carry into many other parts of the face, upper body, and even hands and fingertips. TMJ symptoms often lead professionals to misdiagnose patients, as these symptoms can often imitate those of other disorders in their range and complexity. Don’t let yourself be fooled! San Francisco TMJ and Sleep Apnea expert Dr. Larson has years of hands on experience and training in diagnosing and treating TMJ, and can quickly relieve both your worries and your pain in as little as one visit.

TMJ Symptoms Headaches

We’ve all been there before—a nagging, throbbing headache, yet again. And, while we have all experienced a headache at some point in our lives, it doesn’t mean you need to just sit back and accept the pain. While you already know what a headache is and how it feels, let’s take a closer look at headache signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the eyes when looking into lights
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Tenderness of the scalp
  • Tightness sensation in the head
  • Stroke
  • Pain on one side or both sides of your head
  • Pain that feels like a throbbing or pulsing sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sensitivity to sounds

TMJ Symptoms Jaw & Facial Pain

Similar to headaches, the exact cause of facial pain appears to be unknown. However, there are some working theories that might help to explain the symptoms of facial pain. One underlying cause appears to be muscle injury or repetitive strain, which activate facial trigger points. Another cause might also be psychological stressors and physical strain because both can increase muscle tension along fibers referred to as the taut band, which is a hardened ropelike stretch of muscle fibers in which triggers are present. Lastly, facial pain might originate from postural stressors, such as poor body posture while sitting at a desk, which is held for prolonged periods of time.

When a trigger point within the muscle is activated, the muscle fibers contract, which results in a sensation from trigger point activation that may take the form of referred pain, or pain in an area other than the point of origin. For example, a trigger in the trapezius muscle, which helps raise the shoulder, can shoot pain up the shoulder to the neck and head, and can be experienced as a headache.

TMJ Symptoms Tinnitus (Ringing In Your Ears)

Pain and ringing in the ears
The inner ear contains a small structure known as the labyrinth that is a crucial part of the body’s balance, or vestibular, system. The vestibular system also includes the eyes, nerves, bones, and joints. The labyrinth contains fluid that moves around as you move, helping to send signals to the brain about balance and the body’s position. When any part of the vestibular system is disrupted, including the labyrinth, the brain receives mixed signals that can cause a feeling of dizziness or vertigo.

It so happens that the labyrinth is located in your temporal bone in your head – and your TMJ attaches to the skull at the temporal bone as well. So, when misalignment or inflammation from TMD occurs, the fluid in the labyrinth can be disrupted, and its important signals become unclear.

Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing in the ears, but some people also hear it as a roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, and it might affect both of your ears or only one. For some people, it’s a minor annoyance. For others, it can interfere with sleep and grow to be a source of mental and emotional anguish.

Those who suffer from Tinnitus have also been known to say the noise sounds like hissing, roaring, buzzing or clicking. The pain may be worsened or relieved by opening the jaw. The sounds can be soft or incredibly loud and the case can range from mild to severe. The more severe cases have been known to keep people up at night and cause a significant deal of frustration. These noises can be heard in either both ears or just one; it depends on the case. There is no set length for those who suffer from Tinnitus. The noises can last months, years or a lifetime. However, Tinnitus has been known to be a common side effect from those who suffer from TMJ Disorder (TMJ/TMD), or in long form: Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

How TMJ and Tinnitus Are Connected

Tinnitus has been known to be a symptom of TMJ in many cases. These two are commonly experienced by the same individuals. The eardrum is located very close to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint at issue in cases of TMD. If the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, it can affect the eardrum. The inflammation of the joint can affect the stabilization of the eardrum, which can cause the pain and noise associated with Tinnitus.

TMJ Symptoms Vertigo & Dizziness

Vertigo (dizziness) San Francisco

TMJ or TMD is often called “the great impostor” because it can cause many symptoms that seem completely unrelated to your bite, such as vertigo. Vertigo is when you feel dizzy or off balance because the entire world seems to be moving when it’s not. A poorly aligned jaw can put pressure on the balance organs in your inner ear, reducing their ability to function and causing vertigo or dizziness.

How TMJ Causes Dizziness and Vertigo

The vestibular system of your inner ear is located in your temporal bone, which is also where your jaw bone attaches to the skull. When your jaw is out of balance, it can put excessive force on this bone and lead to a misalignment of the vestibular system. This will cause it to give incorrect, conflicting signals to the brain about your balance, leading to dizziness or feelings of vertigo.

If you are suffering from vertigo there may be an underlying cause that isn’t so obvious. The health of your jaw joint (TMJ) and your bite (occlusion). When issues arise with either of these two things it can result in a temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction. Research has shown that there may be a correlation between TMJ and Vertigo which helps in resolving some cases by treating your misaligned bite and reducing tension in the connected jaw muscles.

Successful TMJ Treatment for Dizziness and Vertigo

Meniere’s disease is a known ear condition named for the French physician Prosper Meniere, who discovered it in 1861. Meniere’s disease affects the functioning of the inner ear, causing symptoms commonly seen in TMJ as well: dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, stuffiness, or ear pain. If a person is diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, they are often told there is no cure to the condition.

However, TMJ treatment can resolve these symptoms and has been known to cure several cases diagnosed as Meniere’s disease. This shows how important it is to get a second opinion when you’ve been told you have a chronic, incurable condition, such as Meniere’s disease.

Schedule YourVirtual Consultation

To Learn More About TMJ And Sleep Apnea Solutions Or To Schedule An Appointment, Please Call Or Text San Francisco TMJ And Sleep Specialist Dr. Larson Today 415-872-5116

San Francisco Dentist Dr. Greg Larson
San Francisco Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea

498 Jackson St San Francisco, CA 94111
p. 415-872-5116
f. 415-449-3560

New Patient Welcome Center

BrookeSan Francisco
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Dr. Larson and his team are seriously great people. I've dealt with years of chronic migraines, neck pain, and some other issues pointing to TMD. Rachelle was so sweet and helpful and so willing to answer all of my questions. Dr. Larson did a free consult with me even with knowing I was moving out of state and not able to go through treatment with him. He pointed me in the right direction and referred me to another specialist and I'm just super grateful and hopeful that I am finally on the right path to recovery!
KinneraSan Francisco
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I went to consult with Dr. Larson about my TMJ disorder. He was very attentive, did a full exam and has given me great information about my TMJ disorder and has come up with a comprehensive plan to treat my TMJ pain. His office is great and they have always been available and quickly respond to any questions I have. Dr Larson is very amicable and friendly and competent and passionate about what he does. I highly recommend this practice for anyone who wants to get relieved of their TMJ pain and other related issues such as tinitus. His and his team help you feel comfortable and at ease. Very clean office and the staff are so professional and very nice people. Great customer service. I’m in great hands.
AllenSan Francisco
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Dr. Larson and his staff are incredible. His attention to detail and truly listening to your symptoms made all the difference in my diagnosis and treatment recommendations. After just one night of wearing the appliance I felt more refreshed and energetic than I had in 20 years. It's amazing how much better my wife sleeps when I wear the appliance also 😉 Their office is clean, modern and the staff makes scheduling an appointment effortless. Thanks for all of the amazing care Dr. Larson!