You heard it when you were young, and you say it now, “Just wait until you’re my age. Everything hurts.” While it is true that aches and pains become more prevalent as you age, it doesn’t mean you have to live with all of them. Some signs of aging are just that, aging. But others are a sign of a health problem mistaken for aging. If you know you didn’t have to live with some of the pain and inconveniences you deal with daily, would you want to fix it? If yes, then this article is for you.

TMJ Disorder

In San Jose and around the US, TMJ disorder is becoming more common. Whether its prevalence is due to our stressful lives or its newfound awareness is unclear. But what is clear is that many people experience TMJ without realizing its TMJ. It often gets overlooked, misdiagnosed, and underdiagnosed.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a jaw joint misalignment that causes pain and other symptoms throughout your body. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull just below your ears, on both sides of your head. Some well-known TMJ symptoms are pain in the joints, headaches, and a locked jaw. But there are lesser-known symptoms that can be mistaken for aging.

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Balance

As you get older, your balance does, indeed, get worse. Our senses begin to lessen, our reaction times increase, and our motor control isn’t as it once was. But TMJ disorder can cause you to lose your balance too. The main component of your keeping your balance is in your inner ear. The fluid of your inner ear moves back and forth through your balance canal as your move your head, sending signals to your brain to move certain body parts to keep balance. Your temporomandibular joint sits just below your ears and can interfere with them and their functions when it becomes inflamed.

The inflammation won’t cause you to lose your balance right away. It’ll take some time. As your TMJ goes untreated, the inflammation will travel from the joint and into the inner ear, where it will begin to interfere with the balance function.

If you have TMJ, you can treat it and regain some of the balance back that you thought you lost due to age.

Dizziness

Dizziness goes along with balance in many ways, but dizziness affects your eyes instead of only poor motor coordination. Due to inflammation in your inner ear, your brain loses the ability to  sense where your body is in space. Many people describe it as vertigo, dizziness, and nausea. It’s not uncommon for those who experience vertigo from TMJ to vomit.

Not only is dizziness inconvenient, but it is also dangerous too. If you become dizzy enough to lose your balance, you could fall and hit your head. Treating TMJ can reduce the inflammation in your inner ear by correcting your jaw position. Your vertigo or dizziness could be a thing of the past. You’ll feel younger and more eager to try new things when you aren’t worried about a fall or vomiting.

Numbness

Numbness is another complaint about getting older. It’s also a complaint with TMJ disorder.

The misalignment of your jaw can pinch nerves that send tingling sensations down your arms and fingers. Although TMJ causes facial pain, it won’t cause numbness or tingling in your face—only in your arms and fingers. Numbness is a sign that you have a pinched nerve. The longer it’s pinched, the more likely you’ll experience nerve damage.

Treating TMJ disorder can ease the numbness you feel in your arms and fingers.

Hearing Loss

The eustachian tube is a narrow passageway that connects your throat to your ear. When you yawn or move your jaw, the passageway opens to keep air pressure and fluid from building up in your ear. When your jaw joint is inflamed, it can block these tubes, causing your ears to feel congested, stiff, and painful. Eventually, this can result in hearing loss.

While you may lose some hearing forever, you can regain some by treating TMJ in San Jose. You’ll also resolve the other symptoms of earaches, congestion, and stiffness.

Ringing Ears

Ringing in your ears is a sign of hearing loss and something common as you age—tiny hairs in your ears that sense sound waves and send signals to your brain. Your brain interprets these signals, and you hear them as sounds. These hairs can become broken and damaged, and when they do, your brain can’t process the movement. You hear this as ringing.

These tiny hairs have muscles behind them that react to muscle tension and inflammation near it. When your jaw joint is inflamed, and the inflammation travels to your inner ear, these small muscles pick up the pull, and your brain tries to interpret the movement. It can’t, so you hear it as ringing.

Your San Jose TMJ dentist can help. By treating TMJ, you can eliminate your ear ringing.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can put a damper on your quality of life. For those getting older, chronic pain might be an unwelcome house guest. But if your chronic pain is linked to TMJ, it doesn’t have to be. TMJ can cause facial pain, head pain, and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. When TMJ goes untreated, it can feel like chronic pain that has no cause. However, when you understand your symptoms, you can get treated for TMJ and be rid of your pain.

TMJ Treatment in San Jose

You may be experiencing signs of aging, but it could also be TMJ. Get tested and treated for TMJ by Dr. Nancy Nehwandian in San Jose. Call (408) 354-5600 or make an appointment online today.