Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Talks About How TMJ Causes Dental Irregularities

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jul 25, 2014

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Talks About How TMJ Causes Dental Irregularities

In order for your mouth to function well and stay healthy, your temporomandibular joint needs to stay health. The temporomandibular joint attaches your lower jaw to your skull, and allows you to move your mouth freely. Some patients have TMJs that are in some way damaged or dysfunctional. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentist is here to help you understand how these issues can, over time, cause dental problems.

Most of the TMJ symptoms that patients initially think of have to do with head and jaw pain. For example, TMJ problems can lead to:

· Chronic headaches

· Jaw soreness and stiffness

· Neck pain

· Pain resembling an earache

· Jaw pain under the tooth

These problems are obviously difficult to live with day to day. And, importantly, they hint at underlying jaw imbalances that may be surreptitiously damaging your teeth.

When your jaw does not close correctly, your body makes small, unconscious adjustments to help your jaw open and close. Unfortunately, this often leads to uneven biting and chewing patterns. Over time, certain teeth will begin to wear down, weaken, and become prone to infection and damage. It is imperative that the patient corrects the underlying jaw problem in order to safeguard his or her smile.

Jaw dysfunction also leads many patients to habitually grind and clench their teeth. This often happens as the patients sleep—their jaw move back and forth, looking for natural positions in which to rest. This dental grinding—called bruxism—leads to dental fracture, and weakens otherwise healthy teeth.

As you can tell, TMJ problems do not just impact the jaw joint. Rather, TMJ dysfunction, if left untreated, can actually hamper the health of your entire mouth. Don’t wait to get the treatment you need—our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to help!