If you have noticed symptoms of TMJ dysfunction in your own life, you probably already know that TMJ problems can be pretty annoying and tough to deal with! What you may not know, however, is that when TMJ is left untreated, it can actually lead to serious dental damage and oral health problems. Keep reading this explanation from our Elmhurst TMJ dentist to get more information on this important topic.
TMJ disorder refers to injury or dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw). When a patient’s bite fits together correctly, meaning that the jaw opens and closes smoothly (without straining or coming out of socket), a patient has a healthy TMJ.
Many patients, however, have temporomandibular joints that do not open and close seamlessly. These patients often find that their jaws/head/necks hurt regularly, their jaws pop and click when they chew or speak, and that they suffer from limited jaw mobility.
Additionally, when TMJ dysfunction is left to run rampant, it can really damage your smile. Most TMJ patients do not even realize it, but when their jaws start to malfunction, they change the way that they close their mouths/chew in order to compensate.
This can lead to premature tooth wear and deterioration due to irregular chewing patterns. This can also cause cracks and chips in the dental enamel, because TMJ patients are prone to grinding their teeth together (often during sleep).
The key to safeguarding your smile is to get effective treatment for TMJ disorder as soon as possible after symptoms emerge. There are simple steps and treatments—including easy to use mouthpieces—that can help you regain a comfortable, healthy smile.
Many patients have questions about TMJ disorder and potential treatments. If this sounds like you, please feel free to contact our Elmhurst TMJ dentist office for the information that you need!