Can you even count how many forms of pain your TMJ disorder is causing you? Does it normally start with soreness in your jaw, then worsen into tooth pain? At times, your whole face has been in pain from your teeth all the way to your cheeks and ears. Sometimes it’ll even stretch to your neck, shoulders, and back. When you sit back and think about it, your TMJ disorder is severely declining the quality of your life. All this pain could be coming from dysfunctional temporomandibular joints. Your Tyler dentist is here to help relieve these uncomfortable symptoms. At Stansbury Dental, our team can provide patients much-needed relief as soon as they visit our office.
What is TMJ disorder?
Temporomandibular joints are triangle-shaped joints made of muscle and cartilage that sit on either side of your face, just in front of your ears. These joints act as hinges that help mouth open and close—essential to our everyday lives, right? Without properly functioning TMJ’s, we cannot function properly enough to eat and speak painlessly. There are many reasons why a TMJ may start having problems. The most common factors that cause TMJ disorder is extreme stress, an improper bite, or sudden trauma to areas around your head and mouth. Common indicators of TMJ disorder include:
- Constant, serious headaches
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Persistent body pain in the head, face, or neck
- Stiffness in your jaw
- Ringing or pressure in your ears
How does TMJ disorder influence the rest of the body?
There is evidence that TMJ may be linked to other conditions such as arthritis, infections, digestive disorders, and autoimmune conditions. How? Chewing food is the first step to a healthily functioning digestive system. The first bite you take releases enzymes and saliva to break down the food you need to digest the food and ingest its vitamins and nutrients. When you have TMJ disorder, it can be difficult to eat simply because you can’t open and close your mouth without pain. This makes it harder for your body to break down food particles to enter your system.
A 2008 study by the Department of Orthodontics at Kyushu University in Japan discovered that TMJ, osteoarthritis, and allergies have strong correlations. Chronic stress causes your immune system to work into overdrive, wearing down your body. This can make patients susceptible to developing these health problems. This inconvenient vulnerability can make even the slightest allergy a big pain!
How can Stansbury Dental help me?
Stansbury Dental can help to eliminate the many symptoms you may be experiencing once they determine that you have TMJ disorder officially. After your dentist evaluates your face, neck, jaw, and mouth, they will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Our dental practice uses a doctor prescribed custom-fitted oral bite appliance that you can wear at night. This bite guard acts as a barrier in between your two rows of teeth while at the same time realigning your bite, protecting your smile.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our office. We are committed to providing comprehensive dental care and information, leading our local patients towards a functioning smile.