If you’ve never heard of TMJ disorder, then your chronic jaw pain and difficulty biting could seem like a complete mystery. If you have heard of it, then you might not believe you have it because your symptoms aren’t exactly the same as what you expected. These and other common misconceptions are partly why many people who have TMJ disorder don’t always seek treatment for it right away, or even know what they should seek treatment for. At our Oxnard, CA, dental office, diagnosing the specific details of your TMJ disorder, including its cause and unique symptoms, is an important part of helping you finally finding permanent relief from it.
Why it makes your jaw hurt
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is one of two large joints on either side of your jaw that allow it to glide smoothly as you bite, chew, speak, and more. TMJ disorder means that one or both of your TMJs have become compromised, either from damage, inflammation, misalignment, tissue degradation, or more. Because your TMJs directly impact your jaw’s movement, TMJ disorder can diminish this movement, making it painful and difficult just to open and close your jaw. However, jaw pain and dysfunction aren’t the only potential symptoms that TMJ disorder can lead to.
Other symptoms it can lead to
Diminished jaw function and chronic jaw pain are common, but because TMJ disorder can aggravate your dominant cranial nerves (known as the trigeminal nerve group), it can also cause several other symptoms. For instance, people who suffer from the disorder may also experience chronic headaches and migraines due to pressure along the nerves. Earaches and ringing, or tinnitus, can develop or grow worse under the disturbance, and chronic teeth-grinding (bruxism) is commonly associated with the jaw joint dysfunction. Because the specific nature of TMJ disorder can differ from patient to patient, the symptoms can also span a wide range of different kinds of discomfort.
Until you treat it
The definitive effects of TMJ disorder are the pain and diminished jaw function that it causes. However, when left untreated long enough, it can also lead to significantly heightened risks of several other dental health conditions. For instance, if you exhibit bruxism along with your TMJ disorder, then your teeth will continue wearing down from the friction. This places an even greater strain on your jaw joints every time you bite, chew, and grind your teeth, creating a cycle of tooth and TMJ damage that grows exponentially worse over time.
Get more details about treating TMJ disorder
TMJ disorder can mean a few different things to different people, but we offer customized treatment to help you address the specific details of your condition. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Oxnard Dentistry in Oxnard, CA, today at (805) 604-9999. We also proudly serve patients from in and around Camarillo, Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moore Park, and all surrounding communities.