Unusual TMJ Symptoms in Bellevue, WA

When Weird Symptoms Point to Jaw Joint Disorders

If you’ve been suffering from chronic jaw pain, difficulty chewing, tension headaches, or other nagging symptoms without relief, you may be one of the many who have overlooked a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issue as the potential underlying cause. 


At The Sleep Apnea and Facial Pain Center in Bellevue, WA, we understand the frustration of debilitating symptoms that seem to have no explanation. Under the compassionate care of Dr. Jeff Doneskey, we have helped countless patients properly diagnose and resolve their TMJ disorders, providing proven, lasting relief from jaw pain and related symptoms. 


Our goal is to listen to you with empathy, thoroughly evaluate your situation, and craft a tailored treatment plan to address the root causes of your discomfort, not just the surface-level symptoms. With personalized care and the latest therapeutic advances on your side, relief is within reach. Call our Bellevue office at (425) 646-6409.

Unusual Symptoms of TMD

We all recognize jaw pain, difficulty moving your mouth, and clicking of the jaw as signs of TMJ/TMD, but there are some symptoms you may not expect to point to jaw issues.

Ear Congestion or Fullness

Many Bellevue TMJ patients visiting Dr. Doneskey complain of stuffy, plugged, or congested ears. This frustrating symptom occurs because the TMJ connects to the ears via muscles and nerves. TMJ inflammation or dysfunction can interfere with normal ear function, causing feelings of congestion, pressure, fluid, or fullness in one or both ears.

Vertigo or Dizziness

Dizziness, lightheadedness, and vertigo are common unusual complaints among Bellevue TMJ disorder patients at Dr. Doneskey’s Sleep Apnea and Facial Pain Center clinic. These balance-related symptoms stem from close connections between the temporomandibular joints and inner ear balance organs. Misalignments or inflammation can disrupt signals along these pathways, resulting in disorienting dizziness/vertigo spells.

TMJ symptoms

Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, frequently occurs in patients with TMD and can be successfully treated by Dr. Doneskey. This aggravating ringing, roaring, clicking, buzzing, or hissing noise usually correlates with TMJ inflammation pressing on nearby nerves and structures leading to and within the ears. Tinnitus often fluctuates as TMJ symptoms improve or worsen.

Difficulty Swallowing

Besides ear-related issues, some TMJ disorder patients in the Bellevue area also struggle with difficulty swallowing at Dr. Doneskey’s clinic. Swallowing difficulties happen because chewing and swallowing depend on smooth TMJ mobility and function. Inflammation, displacements, and other TMJ problems can interfere with the synchronized mouth/throat muscular actions necessary for normal, easy swallowing.

Changes in Vision

Surprisingly, some Bellevue TMJ patients experience vision changes, like blurred vision or abnormal eye movements/alignment. Under Dr. Doneskey’s care, these patients learn that the TMJs connect to nerves and muscles controlling eye focusing and movement. Dysfunction-related inflammation or compression along these pathways can disrupt normal eye function temporarily.

Unexplained Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity with no apparent cause dental also sometimes occurs among Dr. Doneskey’s Bellevue TMJ patients. This symptom emerges because teeth feel sensations via nerves routed through the TMJ area. Inflammation or joint issues can make nerves hypersensitive, causing teeth to feel painfully sensitive for no reason, especially when chewing.

Facial Swelling or Asymmetry

Noticeable facial swelling and/or asymmetry are other unusual TMJ symptoms Bellevue patients report during appointments with Dr. Doneskey. These visible symptoms occur due to inflammation, fluid buildup, and swelling affecting joint and facial tissues surrounding the underlying TMJ structures. Patients often notice face shape changes or puffiness on just one side.

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic tiredness and fatigue represent additional surprising TMJ symptoms among Bellevue patients in Dr. Doneskey’s clinic. Ongoing joint pain and dysfunction prevent restful, restorative sleep at night. Sleep loss accumulates over time, producing persistent exhaustion, brain fog, low energy, and fatigue. Treating root TMJ causes typically resolves fatigue issues.

Numbness or Tingling in the Fingers

Some Bellevue TMJ patients also deal with odd finger numbness or hand-tingling sensations. Dr. Doneskey explains this unexpected symptom stems from inflammation around cranial nerves rooted near the TMJ. This inflammation can radiate outward, temporarily interfering with nerve branch signal transmission to the hands and fingers.

Difficulty Speaking or Vocal Changes

Finally, speech or voice changes like slurred, slowed, or garbled speech represent another unusual TMJ symptom group reported by some Bellevue patients at the Sleep Apnea and Facial Pain Center. Limited jaw mobility directly limits tongue and mouth motions needed for clear speech. Plus inflammation can affect vocal cord nerves. Together, these factors cause difficulty speaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What unusual symptoms might clue me into possible TMJ disorders?
Will fixing my TMJ disorder also resolve additional unusual symptoms?
What is the best treatment approach for maximizing unusual symptom relief?
How long until I see relief from surprising TMJ symptoms after starting treatments?
What unusual symptoms might clue me into possible TMJ disorders?

Besides jaw soreness and reduced mobility, watch for surprising symptoms like ear fullness, tinnitus, dizziness, vision changes, odd tingling, face swelling, speech troubles, etc. These issues often accompany TMJ dysfunction.

Will fixing my TMJ disorder also resolve additional unusual symptoms?

Yes, in most cases treating underlying joint inflammation and mechanical problems facilitates symptom improvements throughout the body once base jaw dysfunction resolves.

What is the best treatment approach for maximizing unusual symptom relief?

To best alleviate the widest variety of TMJ-related symptoms, a combined approach works to control inflammation while addressing root mechanical causes like misalignments. This approach offers substantial holistic relief.

How long until I see relief from surprising TMJ symptoms after starting treatments?

Most patients experience gradual improvements as swelling decreases and alignments improve over the initial treatment period. Consistency is crucial for long-term success and sustained freedom from unusual symptoms.

Compassionate TMJ & Sleep Specialists

If you are tired of living in a fog of unexplained symptoms and mystery pains stealing your vitality, take heart – answers and relief can be found. At The Sleep Apnea and Facial Pain Center, we are passionate experts at pinpointing hidden causes and delivering proven TMJ treatments to give patients their lives back. 


Every day, we feel privileged to see the spark return to people’s eyes as nagging symptoms finally fade thanks to our customized protocols. If you are suffering from any mix of inexplicable facial aches, ear pain, vertigo, tooth sensitivity, or just feel generally unwell, we encourage you to pick up the phone and contact us. One call to (425) 646-6409 could be the first step on your journey back to health.