Have you ever wondered why they call the temporomandibular joint the “small joint that can cause big pain”? It’s because of just how much can go wrong when anything affects this complicated joint.
The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, sit on both sides of the jaw, acting as a hinge between the skull and the jawbone. You can feel them by placing your hands on each side of your face just in front of your ears. When you open and close your jaw, you will feel it moving under your fingers.
While some of the common symptoms of TMJ disorder include jaw pain and jaw locking that may make opening and closing the mouth a problem, other times the symptoms can include throat pain that may make swallowing seem very difficult. Most patients are surprised to find out that this can be a symptom of TMJ disorder.
So, why does TMJD affects the throat? The answer is simple.
The temporomandibular joint is located right behind a major nerve in the face. The nerve in question is directly connected to a network of other nerves that run throughout the face, head and neck. This is why TMJ issues are not localized to the jaw. This is why TMJ pain easily spreads to ears, cheek, mouth, eyes, teeth, tongue and even throat. In some cases, even the muscles of the neck and those of the upper back can be affected.
Sometimes, TMJ disorders may only cause minor discomfort that can go away without treatment. If, however, you’re experiencing reoccurring and consistent TMJ pain in and around the ear, jaw or face. you may want to seek treatment to avoid further complications or issues.
Along with pain around the TMJ itself, you may also experience discomfort with chewing, jaw lock (open or closed), facial pain, jaw clicking or grinding, ringing in the ears, and even dizziness.
If you feel like your throat pain may be a result of TMJ disorder, only proper diagnosis and treatment will help resolve the situation effectively. Dr. Norman can help if you need TMJD treatment in Everett, Washington, and the surrounding areas. You can schedule a visit or contact us at 425-320-0742 for more information.