Common oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease matter to most people because of the fact they’re common. Nearly anyone can, and will, develop one and/or the other at some point in their lives, so everyone should focus on preventing them with good hygiene and preventive dental care. However, less commonly known conditions, such as TMJ disorder, may not seem like they matter until they develop and cause other, sometimes severe, symptoms and concerns. Today, we take a look at the nature of TMJ disorder and why it might matter as a potential reason behind one or more other chronic discomforts you’re experiencing.
What TMJ disorder means
Conditions like tooth decay and gum disease can affect your teeth and gums to varying degrees, depending on how long they’ve been allowed to progress. However, each stage is similar in everyone who experiences it, and there are specific causes, symptoms, and treatments designed specifically for addressing each stage. TMJ disorder is different in many ways, including the fact that it can describe more than one type of specific concern with your temporomandibular joints (or TMJs). As the joints that control your jaw’s movement, your TMJs can become damaged, misaligned, inflamed, or compromised in many other ways, and each may be defined as a TMJ disorder that leads to one or several other concerns.
What the disorder can manifest as
The specific nature of your TMJ disorder isn’t the only thing that can be unique about your jaw dysfunction. The types of symptoms that your disorder can cause might also be different, which is an important reason why diagnosing and treating the disorder requires professional care. In many cases, some of the more common symptoms of a TMJ disorder can include:
- Popping and clicking jaw joints
- Uncontrollable teeth-grinding
- Pain and soreness in your facial muscles
- A shifting feeling when you bite and chew
- Chronic headaches and/or migraines
- Earaches and ringing in the ears
- And more
What it may take to find relief
When your dentist diagnoses you with TMJ disorder, knowing the cause of your discomfort can make dealing with it much more effective. For many people, the problem can be addressed with the help of a custom-designed TMJ appliance, which is designed to support your lower jaw while you sleep. Your appliance can be designed to support your jaw in just the right way to allow your TMJs to rest comfortably, alleviating any undue pressure that may be contributing the disorder.
Learn if you need TMJ treatment
TMJ disorder can be a factor in many different forms of chronic discomfort, and we may be able to help you find relief with customized TMJ treatment. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.