TMJ DISORDER SYMPTOMS CAN MIMIC CHRONIC SINUSITIS
Did you know that TMJ disorder and chronic sinusitis share many of the same symptoms?
Headaches, jaw and neck pain, facial pressure, toothaches, earaches, tinnitus and dizziness can occur with either condition. Unfortunately, many TMD patients don’t realize the true cause of their symptomsa getting a proper diagnosis is the key to finding an effective treatment.
If what you think is chronic sinusitis doesn’t seem to be responding to treatment, TMJ disorder could actually be the cause of your symptoms — and that means you need to see a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.
SIGNS OF CHRONIC SINUSITIS
In most patients, chronic sinusitis comes with some symptoms that clearly point to a sinus-related issue. These may include:
Nasal congestion that makes it difficult to breathe
Discolored drainage from the nose or down the back of the throat
Impaired sense of taste and smell
Tenderness and swelling around the eyes, nose and cheeks
Nausea due to excessive mucus in the stomach
TMJ DISORDER SYMPTOMS
Patients with TMJ may also have sinusitis-like symptoms, including sinus pressure and stuffiness. The difference is that TMJ disorder also presents with one or more of the following symptoms that aren’t related to chronic sinusitis:
Pain or tenderness in the jaw or at the temporomandibular joint area
Difficulty or pain while chewing
Clicking, grating or popping sounds in the jaw
Locking of the jaw, making it difficult to close or open the mouth
Spasms in the jaw and facial muscles
HOW IS TMJ DISORDER DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosing TMJ disorders involves taking a detailed patient medical history and performing an examination of the jaw, neck, face and head.
Imaging tests can also be helpful diagnostic tools for jaw-related facial conditions. If a patient is suspected to be suffering from TMJ, a dentist, doctor, oral surgeon, or ENT may order X-rays, a CT scan, an MRI or a bone scan to get a look at the temporomandibular joint and surrounding soft tissues. Some blood tests may be also advised, to rule out other medical conditions that can cause TMJ-like symptoms and to look for vitamin deficiencies.