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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    Temporomandibular joint disorder is not a diagnosis. Rather it is a descriptive term that says that you “have a porblem with your jaw joints”.

    Of all disease and all potential cause for a problem with your jaw joints, whether it be rheumatoid arthritis, anterior disk dilsocation, or acute capsular sprain, the symptoms are relatively the same.
    1. There is often a change to your bite, or how your teeth come together
    2. The jaw joints are sore, and they are even mroe sore when you move the joints
    3. The joints are tender when you push on them with a finger
    4. There is sometimes an ear ache or a feeling of water in the ears
    5. You cannot chew very well or comfortably
    6. You cannot open your mouth widely
    7. Occasionally you cannot close your jaw, or get your teeth together
    8. The muscles of mastication are in spasm and usually also sore
    9. There is clicking or grating inside the jaw joint
    10. You feel miserable.

    If all this is happening to you, get a referral by your GP or dentist to an oral & maxillofacial surgeon.

  • 1


    Dr Barbara Szylkarski has 18 years experience in private practice dentistry for adults and children. She has also worked alongside one of brisbanes renowned prosthodontists, … View Profile

    One of the most commonly presenting symptoms, and the one that most often makes people seek treatement,  is headache.  This can sometimes extend to neck ache as well.

    Facial Pain is also commonly reported particularly on opening and closing the mouth, this pain can be felt spontaneously or when you push on the jaw joints and palpate the muscles of the jaw.

    ENT specialists very often refer patients to their Dentist, as they present to the ENT specialist with ear problems.  Ear problems include pain in the ear or ear ache, a muffled, clogged feeling in the ears and/or a ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.   The ENT is unable to find anything actually wrong with the ears and often suspects some type of TMJ disorder. 

    Less often a vaque dizzy feeling may also be felt.

    Grinding, clicking and popping of the Jaw joint may also be noticed on opening and closing of the jaw.  This is known as crepitus.  Sometimes the Jaw cannot be opened widely creating difficulties with eating and speaking.

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