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5 Unexpected Side Effects of TMD

When you receive trauma to the jaw or if bite forces in the mouth become misaligned, your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may become damaged and inflamed. When this happens, a TMJ disorder (TMD) forms, causing pain throughout your jaw. TMD can also cause several unexpected side effects, including the following:

A Tired-Feeling Face

Just like your leg muscles feel tired after a run, the facial muscles in people with TMD also experience a tired feeling in their face. Why? Because the Masseter and Temporalis muscles around your jaw are experiencing too much activity (from grinding or clenching your teeth together), which could result in a tired-feeling face.

(Also Read:Drug-Free TMJ Treatment for Patients with Migraines and Jaw Pain)

Swelling of the Face

Facial swelling could be caused by a number of factors. If one side of your face is swollen, you might have a dental problem such as an abscess in your gums or a toothache. Outside trauma to the face could also cause facial swelling. Another possible cause of swelling of one or both sides of the face is TMJ disorder.

Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain

Again, it makes sense that TMJ disorder would cause pain throughout your jaw area, but another surprising side effect of TMD is pain throughout your neck, shoulders or even your upper back. Chronic jaw clenching or a misaligned bite causing TMD can eventually cause symptoms that radiate to other parts of your upper body if left untreated.

Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)

Are you experiencing a ringing in your ears (i.e., tinnitus), even though you did not attend a loud concert last night? You might be surprised to know that tinnitus is one possible symptom of TMD. As the jaw muscles spasm or tighten as a result of TMD, the tightening effect may eventually be transferred to the nearby muscles, some of which are located in the inner ear and can cause you to hear a ringing sound in your ears.

(Related: Best Toothbrushes For People With a TMJ Disorder)


If you feel dizzy or often experience vertigo, it could be a sign of TMD. In the same way that TMJ disorder can cause a ringing in the ears, it can also affect the part of your inner ear that helps you stay balanced, thereby making you feel dizzy or unsteady.

What to Do If You Think You Might Have TMD

Because TMD symptoms can be mild, have a gradual onset or occur sporadically, it is often hard to tell if you have TMD. The best thing to do if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above is to contact Pasadena Pain Management for an evaluation and to hear about your possible treatment options.

To schedule an appointment with us, give us a call at 616-778-8333, or schedule an appointment online.

(Related: [WATCH] Samantha’s TMJ Success Story)

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.