TMJ disorders are becoming common among adults due to the everyday stress many of us deal with. Major life events, chronic illness, job changes, or the death of a loved one can all affect stress levels and trigger TMJ pain. TMJ Disorders are often due to excess strain placed on the joint, which may be accompanied by grinding, as well.
While TMJ can cause popping of the joint or discomfort during eating, it can also affect our overall health. Here are 3 ways that TMJ disorder may negatively influence your health.
Abnormal Tooth Wear
The constant grinding of the teeth typically happens when someone is sleeping, or if they are clenching their teeth due to stressful events. Although enamel is the hardest substance in the entire human body, it is not immune to premature wear when teeth grind against themselves. As a result, teeth can wear flat, have sharp edges, or suffer from broken restorations.
Headaches and Migraines
Strain placed on the muscles surrounding the TMJ can radiate muscle pain and fatigue throughout the head, face, neck, and shoulders. Even migraines may be induced due to overuse of the joint. One of the questions Dr. Lordo asks his patients is if they wake in the morning with jaw pain, headaches, or muscle fatigue. If they do on a regular basis, then it is a red flag for strain of their temporomandibular joint.
Pain or constant grinding of the teeth may cause you to wake up during the night, get less sleep, or even cause your loved ones to wake due to the noise of grinding. A lack of sleep will cause drowsiness throughout the day, and affect your quality of work as well as attention issues.
Dr. Lordo offers non-surgical TMJ therapy to his patients by using preventive splints that can be worn during the day or while sleeping. These small devices prevent the jaw from becoming strained from overuse, as well as encourage the teeth to be in a resting position that does not allow wear to occur. The small investment in therapeutic TMJ treatments will only pay for themselves by preventing loss of restorations or painful everyday muscle fatigue. Ask Dr. Lordo about your TMJ assessment during your next routine visit with us!