There are plenty of little discomforts that we all learn to live with. However, it’s important to take stock of your own health, and to ask yourself if what you’re experiencing is just a manageable little pain, or a chronic condition. You may experience jaw pain from time to time. It can be caused by any number of things, but if you’re experiencing chronic jaw pain, that’s a different issue. Chronic jaw pain may be a sign of TMJ disorder. This describes a series of disorders related to the joints in your jaw bone. While you experience jaw pain, your teeth may be suffering damage as well.
TMJ Disorder Can Describe a Number of Conditions
TMJ disorder complicates the movement as your jaw as you chew. This, obviously, creates a lot of problems. TMJ may be the result of misalignment, inflammation, malfunction, or other issues affecting the movement of your jaw. If your jaw bones are not aligned, their movement can become strained and cause wear on your teeth themselves. Chronic inflammation of the joints in your jaw can damage the tissue and cause pain throughout your jaw and head. Whatever the cause, TMJ can make it difficult to chew, talk, or even laugh.
The Pain of TMJ Can Spread
When you experience chronic pain in one area of your body, it can affect the way you behave, and may ultimately cause you to create another issue elsewhere in the body. Your TMJ disorder may affect you most while you sleep. You may then wake up in the morning with an unexplained headache. This headache could actually be tied to your jaw issue, but it can be difficult to make that connection if you’re not familiar with TMJ disorder. That’s why you should always be upfront with your dentist about any oral symptoms or even issues with your head that you may be experiencing.
Your Dentist Can Help You Manage TMJ
TMJ disorder is a condition that your dentist can help you address. When you visit your dentist for a checkup, be sure to mention any unexplained oral pain that you’re having. Your dentist can evaluate your bite or even use x-rays to determine if there is an alignment issue with your jaw. If your dentist determines that you do suffer from TMJ disorder, they can often correct the issue with an oral appliance. This custom-designed appliance is something you can wear in your sleep to align your bite and prevent teeth grinding.