There are many different things that could impact your oral health, and not all of them involve tooth infection or gum disease. For example, your jaw joints, also known as temporomandibular joints (TMJs), play a big role in your bite’s function, and several types of issues may affect that role. Often known as TMJ disorder, these issues can make biting and chewing more difficult, even painful, and have a wider range of symptoms than many other dental conditions. Today, we examine a few of those symptoms and why they might indicate that you need TMJ disorder treatment.
Do your jaws always hurt or pop?
TMJs are located on either side of your jaw, and when healthy, they move together at the same time every time you open and close your bite. Most forms of TMJ disorder affect this balance in some way, forcing one or both joints to overcompensate. You may experience increasing discomfort, as well as a popping or clicking sensation as the joints try to accommodate the uneven movement.
Does biting and chewing feel weird?
When your TMJs aren’t balanced or functioning properly, they can affect how well your bite functions. Your bite might feel uneven as you notice it shifting to accommodate the disorder, or your teeth don’t feel as though they meet each other the same way as they used to. These are common signs that your bite is imbalanced, which may contribute to and be a factor in your TMJ disorder.
Do you get chronic headaches and migraines?
Aside from chronic discomfort in your jaw and face, dysfunction in your jaw’s joints can also lead to increasingly worse headaches and migraines. Your TMJs are close to your dominant craniofacial nerve group – known as the trigeminal nerves – and their malfunction can aggravate that nerve constantly. You may not find relief from your chronic headaches until you seek treatment for your TMJ disorder.
Do you have bruxism (grind your teeth constantly)?
When your jaws don’t function as they should, you might find yourself grinding your teeth frequently throughout the day, or notice signs that you’ve been doing it in your sleep. Known as bruxism, chronic teeth-grinding is a common symptom and cause of TMJ disorder. If your teeth are growing more sensitive each day, then it may be a symptom of bruxism.
Find out if you have TMJ disorder
Because of the many different potential signs of TMJ disorder, knowing that you have it might be challenging. If you exhibit these signs, or other symptoms involving chronic jaw pain, then you may be a good candidate for TMJ treatment. To schedule a consultation, call Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA, today at (319) 364-7108.