Request an
Request Appointment
Our Forms
Download Our Forms
Read Our
Read Our Reviews
Like Us On
Like Us On Facebook
Call Give us a Call Map View our Map

Click Here to Read About Our Commitment to Your Safety

Why You Should Treat Your TMJ Disorder

November 3, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — coccosmile @ 7:01 pm
a patient experiencing jaw pain in Ann Arbor

If you’ve been suffering from jaw pain in Ann Arbor, it’s not something that you should ignore! Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which connect your lower jaw to your skull, are arguably the most important and complex joints in your whole body; however, they’re also susceptible to certain problems that can greatly inhibit your quality of life. Here’s a little more about some of the observable symptoms of TMJ disorder, why it’s in your best interest to seek treatment, and how your dentist can help!

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Simply put, TMJ disorder (also known as TMD) can be very uncomfortable! It’s also quite widespread, and it’s estimated that approximately 10 million Americans are affected by it. A few common symptoms of TMD usually include:

  • Jaw pain in one or both of your temporomandibular joints.
  • Difficulty moving your jaw and opening/closing your mouth.
  • Headaches, earaches, and even tinnitus (a constant ringing in your ears).
  • Popping or clicking noises when you move your mouth or chew.
  • Bruxism (grinding or clenching your teeth at night).
  • Upper back pain, as your jaw muscles assist with head and neck alignment that influences the rest of your body.

The Risks of Untreated TMJ Disorder

Even though TMJ disorders aren’t necessarily life-threatening, they can still cause several issues that greatly impact your quality of life! Patients who suffer from it often experience misalignment or deterioration of their joints due to the surrounding cartilage being worn and destroyed. This cartilage is crucial because it absorbs much of the tension that’s produced when you bite and chew, similarly to how your knee’s cartilage absorbs some of the impact whenever you take a step.

Aside from this constant discomfort and tension in your jaw, it’s also possible for the affected joints to become inflamed. And if things are allowed to progress without intervention from your dentist, you might develop bruxism. This unconscious grinding and clenching will wreck your enamel—and enamel doesn’t grow back on its own. In other cases, the issue can even lead to sleep apnea, which spells very bad news for your overall health!

How Your Dentist Can Help

TMJ disorders can sometimes be difficult to diagnose; however, using a combination of different tests, your dentist can determine the cause of your jaw pain and provide you with an effective means of treatment. If your case of TMD is relatively mild, the use of muscle relaxants and/or aspirin can often provide relief. However, highly severe cases might require jaw surgery to fully correct. One of the most common and effective means of treating the issue is a personalized occlusal splint. These mouthguards can help to gradually reset the jaw’s natural resting position into its proper place.

If you’ve been suffering from pesky, chronic jaw pain in Ann Arbor, this TMJ Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to seek the treatment you need from your dentist!

About the Author

Dr. Dina H. Cocco has proudly served patients and families in the Ann Arbor community for over 30 years. Dr. Cocco received her DDS from the University of Michigan and is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. Her practice is thrilled to offer a wide range of services including TMJ therapy. If you have any questions about TMJ disorder or would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Cocco, feel free to reach out online or over the phone for assistance: (734) 668-8636.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.