TMJ and its related muscle disorders are a set of conditions causing dysfunction and pain in the jaw, specifically the temporomandibular joint. TMJ can present as malfunctions in bite and jaw alignment that cause an array of conditions including:
- Jaw pain and discomfort
- Loss of sleep
- Ear aches and ringing sounds
- Limited jaw movements
- Worn out teeth
- Locking of the jaw
If you have TMJ, you’re not alone. Jaw trauma has been pointed out as the most common cause of TMJ, but it’s also quite possible that stress, anxiety, and poor dental health contribute to TMJ. Clenching the jaw or grinding your teeth will also exacerbate the problem. Even if you only experience occasional bouts of TMJ pain or discomfort, the symptoms warrant a visit to an orthodontist.
A Problem That Grows Worse
At first, you may only experience TMJ symptoms occasionally, with discomfort occurring in cycles in the form of headaches, ear aches, or some tenderness in the jaw area. Others, however, develop long term symptoms that if left untreated, could lead to more serious health issues.
TMJ can leave permanent nerve damage in the jaw area, which could lead to limited jaw mobility thus affecting chewing motion. For those experiencing substantial TMJ pain, sleeping difficulties and discomfort can have long term health effects. And if you suffer from TMJ, it’s likely that the symptoms themselves will contribute to increased tension and pain.
If you’re experiencing some or all of these symptoms and still unsure about your condition, consult an orthodontist for a proper diagnosis. There are several options for TMJ treatment through orthodontics. Ask your orthodontist and get relief.