Jaw pain and headaches are among the most well-known symptoms that arise from jaw joint problems. However, other issues caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) may surprise you. For example, this condition can cause sudden feelings of dizziness and spinning.
If you suspect that you are experiencing TMJ dizziness, you may be wondering how the two problems are related and how you can treat your jaw joint issues to find relief from vertigo. Below, you will find answers from our experienced neuromuscular dentist located in Oakton.
What Is TMJ?
First, let’s talk about your temporomandibular joint. That is what connects your jaw to your skull. Usually, it moves smoothly up and down when you do things like talk to people or eat. Picture a sliding hinge. But there are other times when it doesn’t properly slide along the proper path, which can result in clicking sounds, or it can even possibly get stuck. That is when you will be diagnosed with TMJ disorder. Your doctor or dentist may call it TMD, which is the same thing.
What Are The Symptoms?
As mentioned before, dizziness is one of the main ones. You may feel jaw pain, mental confusion, problems chewing, or pain in other areas. It can be on one side, or it can be on both sides of your head, depending on what is being affected.
What Causes It?
There are a number of things that can contribute to this. They include arthritis, genetics, and even an injury to your jaw. Pinpointing the exact reason can be tough, but if you notice that one, some, or all of the above symptoms exist, then you should seek medical help. They may even point you in the direction of a dentist or an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your dentist or doctor will look at your jaw and see what the range of motion is like. They will also feel your jaw as you open and close your mouth. Then, they will diagnose you and determine the next steps.
Does TMJ Cause Nausea?
Yes, TMJ can be associated with nausea. The jaw joint is interconnected with nerves and muscles that can affect various areas, including the head and neck. TMJ-related pain and dysfunction may lead to referred symptoms such as nausea. Individuals experiencing persistent nausea along with TMJ symptoms should seek evaluation from a healthcare provider for a comprehensive diagnosis.
Can TMJ Cause Vertigo?
TMJ can contribute to vertigo. The intricate network of nerves and muscles around the jaw joint may impact the equilibrium and balance mechanisms in some individuals. However, it’s important to note that vertigo is a complex symptom with various potential causes, and TMJ-related vertigo is not a common occurrence. Individuals experiencing persistent vertigo should consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause.
How Are TMJ and Vertigo Related?
Jaw joint inflammation is a common occurrence among those who suffer from TMJ. When your jaw joints become inflamed, the problem can impact your ears and the way that they function.
Specifically, inflammation caused by TMJ can reach the sensors in your ears that are responsible for sending information to your brain about the position and movement of your body.
As a result, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded and experience a jarring loss of balance. These symptoms can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. They may even lead you to fall down.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Headaches and Dizziness?
In some cases, impacted or improperly aligned wisdom teeth can lead to headaches and dizziness. The pain and discomfort from wisdom teeth issues may radiate to the head and neck, contributing to headaches. Additionally, the tension and stress associated with dental problems can potentially result in dizziness.
How Long Does TMJ Dizziness Last?
The duration of dizziness caused by TMJ can vary. It depends on the underlying cause, severity of the TMJ dysfunction, and individual factors. In some cases, the dizziness may be temporary and improve with appropriate treatment, while in others, it may persist until the underlying TMJ issue is addressed.
How Do I Get Rid of Dizziness from TMJ?
You can ease TMJ dizziness at home with some self-care measures. Focusing your efforts on your jaw joints, apply heat or an ice pack at intervals that feel comfortable to you. Eat soft foods, avoid chewing gum, and take additional measures to give your jaw the rest it needs. If necessary, consider buying over-the-counter medications to treat dizziness and vertigo.
It’s important to avoid hard or chewy foods, practice good posture, and adopt jaw-friendly habits that can contribute to reducing TMJ-related symptoms.
Physical therapy techniques, such as jaw exercises and stretches, may help improve jaw function and alleviate symptoms. A physical therapist can guide you through exercises tailored to your condition.
Stress can exacerbate TMJ symptoms. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, medication, and stress management strategies can be beneficial in reducing tension in the jaw and related symptoms.
A dentist could prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxants to manage pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorders. They can also prescribe custom-made dental splints or mouth guards that can help stabilize the jaw and reduce clenching or grinding of teeth, which may contribute to TMJ issues.
It is important to know that these steps will only mask the underlying problem with your jaw joint. For that reason, you should seek out an experienced neuromuscular dentist for a diagnosis and treatment. Be aware that dizziness can sometimes be the result of other medical conditions that need to be addressed. A dental evaluation can help rule out other causes of your vertigo.
Schedule a TMJ Consultation in Oakton
Dr. Michael Chung is a skilled neuromuscular dentist who focuses on treating TMJ. If you are dealing with dizziness and other symptoms of this condition, know that you can achieve relief.