TMJ Awareness Month
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Not only is it the middle of autumn and the start of the holiday season, but it’s also TMJ Awareness Month! At High Desert Dental, our Grand Junction dentist believes it is our responsibility to educate our patients about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder as their dentists and TMJ experts. Its symptoms, causes, treatment choices, and what happens if you ignore it are all covered. If you’re not familiar with TMJ, stay reading to learn more.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD)?
Your jaw opens and closes like a door. Our dentist in Grand Junction CO explains that it has a hinge on the bottom that allows it to open and close. The temporomandibular joint functions similarly to a door hinge, and when you have TMJ disease, the hinge isn’t functioning properly. This is frequently because the dysfunction is caused by an imbalance, strain, or injury. The malfunction can cause pain and discomfort, which can make daily life difficult. Unfortunately, ignoring TMJ will just exacerbate the situation.
The door (your jaw) will eventually become stuck open or closed. TMJ therapy is your only option for alleviating discomfort and restoring proper jaw function.
What is the root of the problem?
The temporomandibular joint functions similarly to a hinge, but with sliding motions as well. The cartilage-covered portions of the jawbones that interact with the temporomandibular joint are separated by a tiny disk that absorbs shock and allows for smooth movement. The disk is either eroded or out of position in a TMJ condition, the joint’s cartilage has been destroyed by arthritis, or the joint has been harmed by a physical accident.
“We strongly advise you to see a dentist for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ. A good diagnosis is necessary for a successful treatment approach.” – Dr. Joshua Eastham
Common Causes of TMJ
Below, Dr. Eastham, the best dentist in Grand Junction CO, shares the common causes of TMJ.
- Misalignment of the jaw
clenching and grinding (bruxism)
- Injury to the body
- Bad posture
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of TMJ issues is the best approach to guarantee that you receive treatment as soon as possible. We worked with our friends at Shreveport Dental Solutions, dentist in Shreveport LA, to discuss the signs. The following are the most prevalent signs to look out for:
- Pain in the jaw, face, back, or neck
- Ear ache or a congested sensation
- Ears ringing (tinnitus)
- Migraines or headaches on a regular basis
- Lockjaw is a term used to describe a situation (jaw stuck open or closed)
- Something is wrong with this bite.
- Finger numbness or tingling
- Tooth wear that is excessive
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
What Should I Do If I Am Suspecting That I Have It?
Our dentists will also take a thorough medical history from you and check your jaw muscles and joints for areas of strain or pain. We can assess if you have TMJ and what you need for a successful therapy with all of this information.
What Happens If I Don’t Seek Treatment for TMJ?
Before you dismiss the idea of coming in for a consultation, consider what will happen if you refuse treatment. To begin with, your pain will not go away. It’s possible that things will deteriorate. You’ll have more headaches and migraines, as well as pain in your jaw, neck, and face. You may just have one symptom at first, but this can quickly escalate to many symptoms.
TMJ that isn’t treated might have a negative impact on your dental health. If you grind and clench your teeth all the time, it can wear down the enamel and possibly fracture and split the teeth.
Finally, untreated TMJ might result in serious jaw issues. It’s possible that the jaw will become permanently stuck open or closed, or that it will dislocate.
The longer you wait to get help, the more likely you are to need surgery to fix your problem. Furthermore, you will be required to pay for additional restorative dentistry procedures in order to improve the health of your teeth.
Call High Desert Dental Today for TMJ Treatment
If there’s one thing you should remember from this blog for TMJ Awareness Month, it’s to see a dentist as soon as you start experiencing symptoms. Contact our team at High Desert Dental to learn more.