How Do I Know If I Have TMD?

woman holds her jaw in pain with a TMJ disorder

The two joints on either side of your skull are called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Without them, you wouldn’t be able to talk, chew, or open and close your mouth. Disorders related to these joints are called TMD. How do you know if you have TMD? Here are the main symptoms:

Jaw Popping/Clicking

When you move your jaw around, do you hear a popping or clicking sound? TMD may not always be the reason, but if it happens a lot and feels painful, that’s a sign something is going on.

Tenderness & Pain

Tenderness in your jaw, cheek muscles, and even your temples are common signs of TMD. Because the tiny joints are so important, harm to them can affect every part of your face. The tenderness may feel like mild bruising, but the pain can get worse without treatment.


Not everyone with TMD grinds their teeth, but it can be a sign of a joint disorder. Grinding can also make TMD worse as it puts a lot of pressure on your jaw. You may be unaware of any problems because grinding often happens at night. Luckily, dentists can recognize the signs of grinding, which include worn-down teeth.

Trouble Opening & Closing Your Mouth

Your jaw moves like a hinge. With TMJ disorders, it can feel like the hinge is rusty. You may have trouble opening and closing your mouth easily. Your jaw may even lock.

Ear Pain

The TMJ connects to the muscles that control your ear, so when something goes wrong with either one of the joints, these muscles are affected. You might feel pressure and pain in or around your ears.

TMJ Disorder Treatment at Jones Creek Family Dentistry in Baton Rouge, LA

Depending on how severe a TMD case is, patients may only need to do some regular stretches and strengthening exercises. We also offer custom nightguards, which are mouthguards worn at night to protect your teeth from grinding. During every exam, Dr. Jones will check for signs of TMJ disorders. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, please contact us today!

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