Eliminate Other Common Causes of Tingling Fingers
TMJ is not the most common cause of tingling and numbness in the fingers. It’s a good idea to consider and rule out other possible causes of tingling fingers before seeking TMJ treatment. More common causes to consider include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Poor circulation
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Alcohol abuse
- Reynaud’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
If your doctor has eliminated these causes of tingling and numbness, consider TMJ as an explanation. You might consider TMJ as a potential cause first if you also have multiple other TMJ symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerves bringing sensation to and from your fingers get irritated and swell up as they pass through a narrow passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. When the nerves swell, they put pressure on each other, which reduces the ability of the nerves to carry sensory impulses, causing a feeling of numbness or tingling.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more likely to affect your thumb through your ring finger. If your pinky is affected by tingling, it’s more likely to be TMJ or another cause.
People with diabetes often develop nerve damage. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. Suspect this if you have diabetes, especially if you also experience tingling and numbness in your feet.
Poor circulation can keep your hands and feet from getting the nutrients they need to fully deliver sensations. Suspect this cause if your doctor has diagnosed you with a vascular condition. If this is the cause, you are more likely to experience it when holding your hand above your heart.
If you’re not getting enough vitamins, it can lead to nerve problems. These nerve problems can cause tingling and numbness in your hands. Make sure you’re getting enough B-vitamins and vitamin E.
Alcohol abuse can deplete the vitamins in your body. This can lead to nerve degeneration, what some people call alcoholic neuropathy.
This condition, also called Reynaud’s phenomenon, occurs when your blood vessels constrict in response to cold or stress. It causes temporary numbness or tingling in your hands by restricting the blood supply, but it passes when your hand warms or stress diminishes.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause widespread nerve damage. You might notice it first in your hands, but it may eventually affect your entire body.
Stroke occurs when the brain’s blood flow is obstructed. Tingling and numbness in the hands can be one symptom. If you also experience vision problems and cognitive difficulties with your hand numbness, seek emergency medical attention to avoid significant brain damage.