Have you been feeling jaw pain? Having trouble opening and closing your mouth? These difficulties in your jaw’s function could be signs of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ. This condition may seem small at first, but it’s so crucial that you have your oral health checked and address your TMJ as soon as possible here in Idaho Falls.
Why? Because it can go downhill very quickly.
Causes and Symptoms of TMJ
Possible causes of TMJ are:
- Misaligned cartilage disc in the jaw
- Cartilage damage from arthritis
- Physical trauma to the jaw from outside sources
- Bruxism (also known as teeth grinding)
- Errors in bite or teeth alignment
- Missing one or more teeth in your smile
If you’re unsure if you have TMJ, take a look at the common symptoms listed here and then schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Tall.
- Pain in the chewing muscles and joints
- “Lockjaw”, or the limited movement of the jaw (difficulty opening and closing your mouth)
- Muscle stiffness
- Pain in the jaw, neck, and face area
- Clicking, popping, grinding in the jaws and teeth
Unfortunately, there’s no standard test that exists to test for TMJ, but Dr. Mark Tall has the experience and training to understand the symptoms and the condition of your jaw.
But now that you’ve seen the causes and symptoms, you may be asking yourself, what if I don’t know how to treat it? Will it heal on its own? It most likely will not, and take a look below at what could happen if you refuse to treat your TMJ.
What Happens to My Smile with TMJ?
- Pain Escalation: Due to the stress and grinding of the jaw joint area, patients can experience varying levels of pain. Without treatment, TMJ can worsen the pain, leading to excruciating levels that may require medical intervention.
- Other Medical Conditions: Patients with untreated TMJ may experience debilitating neck or jaw pain, depression, malnutrition, or even resulting to eating disorders as a result of their pain.
- Deteriorating Oral Health: TMJ can result is troubling oral health problems like gum disease, tooth decay, or physical tooth trauma.
- Deterioration of Hearing: While rare, patients may experience difficulty hearing, known as tinnitus, due to the close proximity of the grinding jaw joints and muscles to the ears.
- Permanently Damaged Jaw Joints: In the end, refusing to treat your TMJ could lead to permanent lockjaw, or inability to open or close your jaw. These occurrences will require an emergency visit to force open the jaws.
As you can see, TMJ can have serious consequences on your health, communication, and potentially your relationships with others. The best course of action to ensure a healthier future is to come see Dr. Tall in Idaho Falls as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Here at Sandcreek Dental, our TMJ treatment options include orthodontics or a customized mouth guard for when you sleep. Oftentimes, just slight changes in the way your teeth or jaws are aligned can alleviate the symptoms, putting you on the right path for recovery. If more extensive or surgical treatments are needed, Dr. Tall will talk about those options with you during the consultation.
Contact Us About Your TMJ Pain
Are you experiencing excruciating pain in your jaw joints, or soreness in your facial muscles? The best way to uncover if you have TMJ is to speak with Dr. Tall in a one-on-one consultation. We’ll take x-rays of your smile, assess your symptoms, and recommend comprehensive treatments for any signs of TMJ. Contact us today in Idaho Falls!
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