TMJ Disorders can happen at any time, and they cause a variety of uncomfortable and painful health issues. Among the symptoms of TMJ are jaw pain, pain in your mouth, teeth, face, or shoulders, headaches, and difficulties opening and closing the mouth.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, may not appear to be that bad initially. Yet without proper treatment it can certainly become a very painful issue. That’s why it’s so important for your oral health and your overall health, to address TMJ symptoms quickly, before they get worse.
What Causes of TMJ Pain and Discomfort?
The temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your head can cause a number of painful issues. And these issues can escalate when the joint is irritated or compromised, growing from an inconvenience to extreme rapidly. Why does this occur? It happens because the temporomandibular joint is centrally located, making it easy for discomfort and pain to radiate from the jaw to your mouth and teeth, spreading to your ears and eyes, neck and head, and even to your shoulders.
TMJ can be caused all too easily by regular daily behavior such as eating, yawning, and talking. Gum chewing can also cause TMJ. Nighttime teeth grinding and teeth and jaw clenching can also cause TMJ. And as anyone who has experienced TMJ knows, it’s all too easy to find themselves suffering from typical daily actions like these.
What Happens If TMJ Is Not Treated?
If left untreated, pain can increase exponentially over time. And while over-the-counter pain relievers can help, they’re not a cure. If TMJ is caused because of teeth grinding, your sleep will most likely also be interrupted and disturbed. That can lead to still other issues such as insomnia, depression, confusion, or brain fog.
As to your dental health, TMJ caused by teeth grinding may also cause stress and extreme wear on your teeth. It can create cracked or chipped teeth over time. You may also develop additional symptoms such as jaw clicking, indentions in the tongue, sensitive teeth, and/or toothaches.
Because the temporomandibular joint is located directly beneath your ears, if you don’t seek proper treatment, you can end up experiencing conditions such as tinnitus or inner ear problems like dizziness. Even your vision can be negatively affected if TMJ is left untreated.
TMJ can also cause jaw problems, which will worsen over time. Jaw problems include issues such as your jaw becoming stuck, which might make an emergency room trip necessary. And, if left untreated, the cartilage in your jaw may also become injured, which can lead to more severe conditions such as jaw dislocation.
Sufferers can also find common issues related to chewing and biting, making eating anything but soft foods painful. They may even experience swelling in the jaw or face.
TMJ can flare up at any time, and the condition can commonly last between two days and a few weeks. Consuming soft foods and applying cool or hot packs to your facial area can help to relieve pain but are not a permanent fix.
The most common way to relieve TMJ symptoms and treat the condition itself is through the use of a mouthguard. Wearing a TMJ mouthguard provides a cushion for your jaw and your teeth. It will relieve pressure and TMJ symptoms, and prevent nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Making a custom mouth guard is simple for your dental team. We can create a well-fitted, custom guard made from an impression of your mouth, molded using a special, comfortable material that is also durable.
We can also recommend effective TMJ exercises and relaxation techniques which can also help alleviate symptoms and prevent flare ups.
Ready to Learn More About TMJ Disorders?
If you’re ready to learn more about TMJ disorders, and put an end to flare ups, we’re ready to help relieve the discomfort and pain of TMJ. Reach out to us today!