Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes a person has symptoms of TMD for years before they get an accurate diagnosis. One of the reasons for this issue is that TMD symptoms can be vague, and TMD is very good at disguising itself. The symptoms of TMD are often blamed on a wide variety of other problems.
TMD symptoms often look like many other conditions. As a result, a person may go to various physicians and medical experts for years, trying to get treatment for a problem and not finding a true resolution. It’s often a tremendous relief when a proper diagnosis is made and the person can finally get the treatment they truly need.
Misdiagnosis: Chronic Headache or Migraine
Headaches can be caused by many illnesses, injuries, and conditions. So, it’s no surprise that when TMD causes a headache, it’s often blamed on something else. Many people get regular headaches from the inflammation of the jaw and tooth grinding that accompany TMD. But, they may be told that their headaches are simply due to stress or that they have migraines.
If you have regular headaches and haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause, consider whether TMD could be the culprit. Simply taking pain relievers isn’t enough; you must have the underlying issues with the jaw addressed in order to achieve relief.
Misdiagnosis: Sinus Problems
Many people suffer from allergies and get an occasional cold. This can cause pain in the sinuses and related headaches. But if your “sinus pain” continues despite treatment with allergy medications or decongestants, there could be something else at play. When your TMJ joint is inflamed or out of alignment, you could be feeling the pain of TMD, and blaming it on your sinuses.
People who have chronic sinus problems should find relief with the help of an allergist or ear/nose/throat physician. If that’s not working, it’s possible that jaw problems or TMD could be causing your pain.
Ear pain can be excruciating, and an ear infection is usually an obvious diagnosis. But if you have ongoing ear pain without an infection, it may not be your ears that are causing the issue. The close proximity of the TMJ joint to your ears means that an inflamed jaw can easily radiate pain to the ear.
If you’ve ruled out an ear infection of fluid in the ear, consider getting your TMJ joint evaluated for problems. It may turn out to be the reason you have earaches, and relief is possible with the right treatment.
What’s Causing Your Pain?
If you have ongoing headaches, earaches, or other facial pain and treatment isn’t working, maybe it’s time to try a different approach. Contact our caring staff at MedCenter TMJ to learn whether a jaw problem or TMD could be the cause of your pain. Schedule your appointment today to get on the path to relief!