TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can cause pain, clicking noises, or discomfort in your jaw. This condition affects roughly ten million Americans every year, but only a small percentage of patients avail treatments. In the beginning, the TMJ disorders are slow to show their symptoms and are painless. If not treated on time, these symptoms can become chronic, painful and can affect the daily aspects of your life.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorders affect the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves connected with chronic facial pain. Any issues that prevent the interconnected system of bones, joints, and muscles from working together in synch may lead to temporomandibular disorder.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of TMJ Disorder?
- Chronic Jaw Pain
Chronic jaw pain is the first symptom of TMJ disorders. This pain will only become worse as your TMJ disorder goes untreated. From occasional discomfort, it will transform into a constant pain in your life.
- Migraines and Headaches
Headaches or migraines can occur when the temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull. There are muscles surrounding the joint that spread across the skull and down into the neck and back. When the joint becomes swollen, it can affect the adjoining muscles causing headaches. Without treatment, the inflammation will become intense.
- Sleep Disorder
TMJ disorder is often caused by improper bites, which compromise the quality of your sleep. When your jaw is not resting correctly, it will obstruct your airway. As a result, less oxygen is supplied to your brain, affecting your quality of sleep.
- Poor Quality of Life
TMJ conditions may cause all types of painful symptoms that can harm your quality of life. The persistent pain and frequent headaches can make you take time off from your work or turn down social obligations and spend most of your time feeling depressed in bed. In addition, jaw discomfort can prevent you from enjoying your favorite foods. If you think that TMJ ailments are affecting your quality of life, you need to get treatment.
When your jaw hurts, you are most likely to eat only soft or liquid food. This can have a significant bearing on the nutrients you consume and can lead to malnourishment.
- Deteriorating Oral Health
TMJ disorders cause clenching and grinding of teeth. This will eventually wear down your teeth and cause fractures or cracks. As a result, your gums may recede that you may need extensive restorative dentistry procedures to restore your teeth to their original strength and structure. Leaving TMJ disorders untreated can result in various dental problems that may require costly dental procedures down the line.
Our dentist, Dr. Alvarez at Enhance Dental & Braces, can provide you with a customized TMJ treatment plan that resolves your symptoms and prevents additional problems. Visit our office at 17230 Autry Pond Rd Ste 115, San Antonio, TX 78247, or call us at (210) 396-7667 and schedule an appointment.