You might not think that the numbness you experience in your hands and arms is related to your jaw, but it could be. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can have far-reaching consequences because of the body’s structure as an interdependent machine. If you have headaches, tooth pain, ringing in the ears, or other symptoms of TMJ, the disorder may also be the cause of your numbness or tingling in the arms.
If you have a number of symptoms that your doctor has been unable to diagnose or treat, you should consider being evaluated for TMJ, which can be the cause of a number of otherwise hard-to-pinpoint symptoms. To learn whether TMJ may be your problem, schedule a consultation with Houston neuromuscular dentist Dr. Ronald Konig by calling (713) 668-2289 today.
How Your Body Compensates for TMJ
If your jaw is out of alignment as part of TMJ, your body attempts to compensate in other ways, which can lead to subsidiary effects. If your jaw is rolled so that it is higher on one side, for example, your body will compensate by tilting the shoulder the opposite way. Sometimes this is either inadequate or overcompensating, and your body may also respond by tilting your hips. This can create muscle tension and pinched nerves over the entire length of the spinal column.
A Source of Numbness or Tingling in the Arms
The nerves that bring impulses between your arms and the brain exit the spinal column at the bottom of the neck. They pass between your collarbone and your top rib and weave between the scalene muscles of your shoulder on their way out to your arms. When your shoulder is tilted in response to TMJ, it creates spasms and tension in the scalene muscles in your shoulder, which in turn can pinch these nerves, leading to numbness or weakness in the hand or arm.
One of Many Causes
TMJ is one of many potential causes of numbness in your arms and fingers, and it is important to eliminate other causes in deciding whether neuromuscular treatment is right for you. One common cause of tingling in the arms and hands is repetitive strain injuries (RSI) that are caused by daily strain on the arms. The most common RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome, which should be investigated. Arthritis is also a common cause of numbness in the arms. A sudden loss of sensation or control in the arm may be a sign of stroke and should be treated in emergency care immediately.
However, if you have investigated other causes, or if your arm numbness is accompanied by symptoms like the following, TMJ is a likely cause:
Contact Ronald W. Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF by calling (713) 668-2289 for a thorough evaluation of your jaw and discussion of your symptoms. Our neuromuscular dentistry center is based in Texas and serves patients in and around Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Katy and other nearby areas.