July 15, 2022
Your jaw is one of the most complex and important parts of your whole body, as it helps you complete many daily, necessary tasks like biting, chewing, talking and more. But like the rest of your body, it’s also susceptible to encountering problems and becoming injured. Symptoms like popping noises when you chew, persistent ear and headaches, and jaw tenderness are just a few of the many things that can arise due to TMJ disorder. But what should you do when you begin to experience these types of problems? Keep reading to learn more about why visiting your dentist for TMJ treatment is your best bet when dealing with debilitating jaw issues.
What Is TMJ Disorder & What Causes It?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your head are responsible for connecting your jaw to your skull and providing your mouth with a wide range of motion. However, the complexity of these joints is also what makes them so vulnerable to injury. It’s estimated that roughly 10 million Americans struggle with TMJ disorder, which is categorized as any type of issue having to do with these joints. It’s often the result of the following:
- Jaw injury or dislocation.
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching).
- Poor tooth or jaw alignment.
Why Does TMJ Disorder Need to Be Treated?
TMJ disorder is not something that you should brush off; even if you’re experiencing minor symptoms, prolonging treatment can lead to some serious (and painful) complications down the road including:
- Increased risk of dental problems such as bruxism.
- Asymmetrical jaw muscle growth.
- Debilitating headaches and pain that can negatively impact your day-to-day.
- Chronic ear pain that can result in tinnitus or a compromised sense of hearing.
- Cartilage deterioration in your jaw that can increase the risk of dislocation or fracture.
Why Should I Visit My Dentist for TMJ Therapy?
Dentists aren’t just “teeth doctors”—they have a wide array of knowledge and specialized skills and can tackle most of the problems that occur inside your mouth, including TMJ disorder. Since TMJ disorder is often caused by tooth and jaw alignment problems, there are many dental treatments that can help including orthodontia like braces or bite guards. Your dentist can also provide you with anti-inflammatory treatment, muscle relaxing medication, or techniques designed to reduce tension in your jaw muscles. In some rare cases, TMJ disorder might require jaw surgery to correct. Nonetheless, your dentist is the best person for the job—or they’ll refer you to another dentist who is!
If you’re concerned about your jaw and believe your symptoms might indicate TMJ disorder, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist about it. Getting to the root of the issue quickly is important, and your dentist can do just that.
About the Author
Dr. Eric Coontz brings an impressive 45 years of experience to his practice in Albuquerque and is proud to provide patients and families in the area with an elite level of care. Dr. Coontz received his dental doctorate from the Loyola University School of Dentistry in Chicago and has taken countless hours of advanced training in areas including dental sleep medicine and TMJ therapy. If you have any questions about TMJ treatment or would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Coontz, you can visit his website or give him a call at (505) 433-2107.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.