TMJ Symptoms and Signs


TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, affects the joints that connect the lower jaw and the skull. Early symptoms can be mild, but the condition can become severely painful and affect normal functioning. Here is a deeper look at what TMJ patients may experience.

Early Symptoms

As inflammation develops in the jaw joints, TMJ patients may notice clicking sounds and sensations when they open or close their mouth. Some visible inflammation may be present in the form of swelling around the area.


Pain may only be slight in the early stages of TMJ, but it can become severe over time. At first, pain may only be present directly in the jaw joints. As the condition progresses, patients may also have pain surrounding in the neck, face, and shoulders.


Finally, TMJ may progress to the point that patients cannot open or close their mouth for a time, otherwise known as lock jaw. The joints are essentially swollen to the point of debility at this stage. With early treatment from our dentist in Houston, patients will be less likely to reach this stage of TMJ.

Many treatments are available for TMJ depending on the cause. At a consultation with our TMJ dentist in Houston, patients can find out about the options.