You, or someone you know, suffers from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. It is a common condition that can cause jaw pain, headaches, clicking or popping of the jaw, and/or muscle tension in the jaw, neck or shoulders. What is less familiar, however, are a couple of uncommon symptoms. One is due to the joint being so close to the trigeminal nerve, which is the largest cranial nerve in the human body. One of the three branches of this artery, the ophthalmic branch, carries nerve signals from the eyes to the brain. When TMJ syndrome causes tension in the muscles and surrounding tissues, it can sometimes effect this nerve resulting in blurred vision, watery eyes and light sensitivity. If these symptoms are present without any other TMJ related symptoms, an ophthalmologist should be consulted.
And if you didn’t know, an important role for the jaw is helping to keep the neck upright. When the jaw is misaligned, the neck will tilt to compensate, causing pressure on nerves that are close to the neck vertebrae. Therefore, this can lead to finger tingling and numbness, even from mild pressure. It’s important to note that, typically, only one hand is affected and symptoms are intermittent. If you are experiencing this sensation in both hands and it’s constant, it is likely the TMJ is not at fault and you should seek additional medical advice.
The Importance of Proper Diagnosis
Dr.’s James Reisman and Jordana Contrucci of C R Dental Group in Dallas, Texas, together have over 40 years of experience with patients with TMJ disorder. After a thorough exam, and a proper diagnosis, relief from these symptoms can be achieved. Maintaining regular dental visits is not only for the health of your teeth, but for other health related issues as well. Always talk to your dentist about any new concerns or issues you may have. At C R Dental Group our number one priority is making sure our patients are receiving comprehensive dental care, because we understand the importance to your overall health.