TMJ Disorders are as varied as they are uncomfortable. Some can cause serious health issues overtime. Among the symptoms are jaw pain, difficulties opening and closing the mouth, pain from your jaw, mouth, teeth, face, or shoulders.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also called TMJ, may not seem like a really big deal, but it can easily become one without proper treatment. In fact, it's important for both your oral health and the health of your entire body, to address TMJ as soon as possible.
Causes of TMJ Pain and Discomfort
The temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the rest of your head, can cause many issues that are extremely painful. If the joint is irritated or compromised, that pain can grow from an inconvenience to extreme quite rapidly. This can happen because the temporomandibular joint is centrally located, making it far too easy for discomfort and pain to easily spread from the jaw to your mouth and teeth, to ears and eyes, neck and head, and even to your shoulders. TMJ can also be caused by regular daily behavior such as eating, yawning, and talking. And in fact, anyone who has experienced TMJ will find themselves suffering from common daily actions like these.
What Happens If TMJ Is Left Untreated?
There can be serious consequences from ignoring the pain and discomfort caused by TMJ, including pain increasing over time. Sure, over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but they’re certainly not a cure. And, if TMJ is caused due to teeth grinding, your sleep will likely be disturbed as well, leading to other issues ranging from insomnia to depression and brain fog.
As to dental health, TMJ caused by teeth grinding can cause extreme wear on your teeth, or create the type of strain or wear that can cause cracking or chipping of teeth over time.
You may also find symptoms such as jaw clicking, indentions in the tongue, sensitive teeth, or frequent toothaches.
Also, because the temporomandibular joint is located directly beneath your ears, if you don’t receive proper treatment, TMJ can lead to conditions like tinnitus or inner ear problems such as dizziness. Even your vision can be adversely affected by untreated TMJ.
Another serious issue TMJ can cause are jaw problems, which also worsen over time. Jaw problems include the jaw becoming stuck, making an emergency room visit a necessity. And, over time the cartilage in the jaw can also become injured, and lead to severe conditions such as jaw dislocation.
TMJ issues can also occur relating to chewing and biting, leading those suffering from this common issue to eat only soft foods, or experience swelling in the jaw or face.
But there is good news, when it comes to symptoms of TMJ: treatment is usually simple as well as effective.
The most common way to treat TMJ and relieve the symptoms you may be experiencing is to use a mouthguard. Wearing a TMJ mouthguard will provide a cushion for your jaw and your teeth. It will relieve pressure and TMJ symptoms.
Making a custom mouth guard is not hard to do, and your dental team can efficiently create a well-fitted, custom guard, simply by making an impression of your mouth. The mouthguard is then molded using a special, durable, and comfortable material.
Your dentist can also recommend excellent TMJ exercises and relaxation techniques that will also help alleviate symptoms.
Want to Learn More about TMJ Treatment?
If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to us at Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry today. We are ready and waiting to discuss TMJ symptoms and treatment options, or or to schedule a visit!