TMJ is a serious dental condition that most often affects young adults and middle-aged men and women. It can be extremely painful and make it difficult to do routine things such as speak and chew. The good news is that treatment is available, so you can find relief. This disorder can have effects on other aspects of your health. You should talk to your dentist if you believe you are experiencing symptoms. Ignoring it can have detrimental consequences.
A description of TMJ
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw and the skull. There is a joint on both sides of the face. This disorder is present when there is pain in this joint or in the muscles that control its movement. The pain involved can be extreme and persistent, though people can experience different levels of the discomfort. In some cases, over-the-counter medication can soothe the pain. Other people may require high levels of treatment.
Dental professionals do not fully understand what causes TMJ. Some activities appear to contribute to pain in this joint, however. People who grind or clench their teeth are more likely to suffer from the dysfunction. There are also many hereditary factors. An injury to the jaw such as suffering a hard blow to the face or in a fall can hurt the joint.
When a person has TMJ, they will feel pain or tenderness in the jaw. But the pain can radiate into other places, such as in the face and near the ears. It may be difficult to chew as well. Some people experience the locking of the jaw or may hear a clicking sound when opening their mouth.
Effects on the teeth
Having TMJ can cause misalignment in the teeth or even damage them. This can contribute to bite dysfunctions and pain. The teeth can become weak and become prone to chipping or breaking. The disorder can cause teeth to be sensitive or brittle too.
Effects on the gums
TMJ can have some indirect consequences on the gums. When a person has teeth-alignment issues, it becomes difficult to brush effectively. Not only can this cause tooth decay, but it may lead to gum disease as well. Untreated, gum disease can promote tooth loss and even bone loss.
Other oral health issues
When jaw pain is severe, it can hurt to brush and floss. Some people who suffer from TMJ may avoid these daily habits altogether. When it is uncomfortable to brush twice a day and floss daily, oral hygiene and health can suffer. Over time, cavities and infections can form. The effects of this jaw disorder can cause tooth damage, which would require extensive treatment.
Get help for this disorder today
If you are experiencing jaw pain, do not dismiss or minimize it. You could be suffering from TMJ. This disorder not only can cause problems with your jaw but with your oral health as a whole. Talk to your dentist today so that you can develop a treatment strategy. You can find pain relief and enjoy good oral health.
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