TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint, is shaped like a sliding hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It is located on either side of your head in front of your ears and allows the jaw to open and close and move from side to side.
TMJ helps you to speak, chew, swallow, and change facial expressions. If your TMJ becomes damaged or misaligned, you can develop a condition known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
The Connection Between TMJ Disorder and Dizziness
When the jaw joints become inflamed, many times it affects the middle or inner ear, which houses the vestibular nerve and other vital parts that are responsible for sending signals to the brain and maintaining the body’s sense of balance. TMJ flare-ups can cause vertigo leading to dizziness or an uncomfortable whirling sensation that can last for a few seconds to several minutes.
TMJ dizziness can make you experience lightheadedness, loss of balance, mentally disoriented, and the sensation that objects are moving. Most patients are unaware that TMD can cause vertigo, let alone issues with their eyes or ears. If you have recently been diagnosed with vertigo, the condition will continue to persist until the main cause is addressed.
When you start to feel dizzy, try to stop whatever you’re doing, sit or lie down, and take several deep breaths to regain your balance.
Other Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Patients diagnosed with TMD typically also experience other symptoms, including:
- Facial pain and tenderness
- Click, popping, or grating sounds when you move your jaw
- Difficulty opening and closing your jaw
- Vision problems
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
Conditions That Can Cause TMD
The exact causes of TMJ dysfunction, or TMD, can often be tricky to identify unless you have an obvious injury or trauma to the jaw. Therefore, making a list of symptoms to take with you to your next dental visit with Maestri Family Dental will help to establish the cause of your TMJ problems.
Dr. Maestri will examine your jaw, the joints, and surrounding muscles to determine the pain and sounds as you move your temporomandibular joint open and close and side to side. If an underlying issue is affecting your jaw, then X-rays may be required.
Read also: What Causes TMJ Disorder to Flare-up?
Ways to Reduce Dizziness Caused by TMD
- Apply heat or an ice pack in intervals to the affected jaw area.
- Rest the jaw by eating soft foods.
- Avoid extreme movement such as chewing gum, yawning widely, or talking loudly.
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to decrease inflammation and treat TMJ dizziness.
- Try relaxation techniques to avoid stress.
You can ease and manage TMJ pain with at-home self-care such as the ones mentioned above. But these steps will not address the root cause of your jaw joint issues.
Since symptoms such as dizziness can sometimes be the result of other underlying medical issues, Dr. Maestri will perform a dental evaluation to see if TMD is the cause of your vertigo. If you are diagnosed with TMD, Dr. Maestri will formulate a treatment plan for your TMJ problems, such as using Botox.
Read also: How Can Botox Help with TMJ
Botox can effectively block the inflammation response triggered by overstimulated nerves in and around the TMJs to relax the overexerted muscles. Dr. Maestri is certified to use Botox in Lafayette, LA, to help relieve your TMJ discomfort.
If you are experiencing recurring dizziness accompanied by jaw discomfort, popping, or clicking in your jaw, migraines, or neck pain, schedule an appointment today with Maestri Family Dental.
Dr. Maestri and her friendly staff offer a variety of dental services to satisfy all your oral needs. We are dedicated to treating patients’ aches and pains with the quality dental care they deserve. We perform excellent dental care with heart.