Answers to Questions About TMJ Disorders

When it comes to TMJ disorders, patients typically have more questions than they can find answers to. Often, patients don’t even know to look for answers, because they aren’t aware that their seemingly-obscure discomfort is due to a specific condition. Understanding jaw problems, and finding relief if you’re afflicted by one, requires information, so we answer a few common questions about TMJ disorders to help you gauge the likelihood of you having one.

What exactly are TMJ disorders?

TMJs are the joints (temporomandibular joints) that connect your mandible to your skull, allowing your lower jaw to open, close, and move as needed. TMJ disorders describe a wide variety of issues that can affect these joints, leading to inflamed tissues, dislocated or perforated joint disks, or other joint and tissue damage.

Can anyone develop TMJ disorders?

Depending on the state of your oral health and a few specific lifestyle choices (like tobacco and excessive alcohol use), some people may be more likely to develop a TMJ disorder than others. However, the condition can develop in nearly anyone’s jaw joints given the right combination of factors. The best way to determine if you have TMJ disorder, or are at an increased risk of developing one, is to undergo a professional examination at your TMJ expert’s office.

Is prevention possible?

Jaw dysfunctions are unique in that they don’t develop like other dental health issues, which stem from the over-accumulation of dental plaque. Still, although good hygiene can’t necessarily prevent TMJ disorder, you can reduce your chances of experience discomfort by refraining from actions that could damage your jaws, such as;

  • Chewing on ice
  • Gnawing on pens, pencils, and other inedible objects
  • Habitually grinding your teeth
  • Ignoring orthodontic treatment, if needed to straighten your teeth

What symptoms should I watch out for?

The other unique thing about TMJ disorders is the long and diverse list of symptoms that they can generate. The nerves in your jaw, known as the trigeminal nerves, account for the majority of sensory input from all of your cranial nerves. When the nerves are pinched, agitated, or otherwise disturbed, the discomfort can spread from your jaws outward, and symptoms of TMJ disorder often include one or more of the following;

  • Painful, popping, and clicking jaw joints
  • Severe, frequent headaches, including migraines
  • Earaches, and persistent ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sore jaw and facial muscles
  • Stiff neck and back muscles
  • And many more

    To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights, MI.

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