When your temporomandibular joints are not functioning properly, you may experience a wide range of health issues as a result. Some of these will be very obviously tied to TMJ dysfunction, while other may be harder to associate with a root cause. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists strongly encourage TMJ sufferers to seek treatment for these issues as promptly as possible; that is why, today, we are providing you with a quick overview of TMJ-related health issues. We hope that this information helps you recognize TMJ problems as soon as they occur.
Perhaps the most straightforward TMJ problem that you may deal with is jaw pain. If your jaw aches, or your back teeth ache despite the fact that the teeth are healthy, you should talk to your dentist about potentially pursuing TMJ treatment. However, be aware that TMJ-related pain can also manifest as headaches, neck pain, and even earaches. If you have this kind of chronic pain, which doesn’t seem to have a clear cause, you should consider TMJ as the possible culprit.
Another fairly clear cut symptom of TMJ dysfunction is a popping or clicking jaw. If, when you chew or open your mouth, you jaw seems to pop, this may indicate that your jaw is actually coming out of its socket momentarily. Over time, you may find that you’re unable to open your mouth all of the way, because your jaw seems to “lock” in place. All of these symptoms are red flags for TMJ disorder.
TMJ sufferers are also prone to suffering from premature dental wear and tear, and shifting bite surfaces. Some of this is undoubtedly due to the fact that, when a patient’s temporomandibular joint is damaged, he or she unconsciously shifts the way he or she chews, in order to compensate. These types of bite alterations are not good for your teeth, and they can actually contribute to even further TMJ damage.
If you notice any of these symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, please do not wait to speak with your dental team about treatment options. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to help; give us a call to schedule a personal consultation!