I suffer from bruxism. I grind at night and it has caused immense TMJ problems. I deal with constant pain, stiffness in my jaw, and tinnitus in my ears. I am familiar with all these symptoms and have undergone treatment to try to keep them under control. But the latest thing that has been happening is my fingers get all tingly and numb. Is this caused from TMJ too? I don’t see how it can be connected. But since it is my biggest ongoing health problem, it is worth asking. Have you ever heard of anything like this?
-Tanya in Kentucky
Interestingly enough, numbness in your fingers can be correlated with TMJ disorder. Not all patients have this problem. But it turns out approximately half do. Since your bite is misaligned, you can be subject to muscle spasms. All of your muscles are connected in your upper body in one way or another. So when your bite is out of harmony, your whole system is affected. The muscle spasms in your neck, shoulders, and back can cause issues with the nerves that are in your arms. Therefore, these nerves can cause numbness and a tingling sensation in your fingers. The severity will likely vary. But needless to say, it is important that you discuss this further with your current TMJ specialist or TMJ dentist that is administering treatment. Hopefully, a treatment plan can be implemented to minimize the disruption and annoyance you are experiencing because of it.
Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by Barrington dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS