Common dental health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease can often cause symptoms that vary between patients. However, these symptoms are typically similar in nature. Tooth decay causes tooth pain to varying degrees depending on its severity. Likewise, gum disease may cause your gums to bleed slightly or lead to tooth loss depending on how severely it’s damaged your gum tissues. With TMJ disorder, however, the symptoms of the condition don’t just progress in severity. They can also change according the unique nature of your TMJ disorder, making it necessary to precisely diagnose your condition before you can know how to treat it.
1. Your TMJs become damaged in different ways
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can describe different types of issues with one or both of your jaw joints. In many cases, the issue involves damage or excessive stress on the joint, which causes it to hurt and may affect its ability to function properly. The specific symptoms of this damage can differ, and may include pain in your jaw muscles, popping or clicking in the joints, and more. If TMJ disorder isn’t treated promptly, the damage to the joint tissue can grow worse and affect your bite’s function in different ways, such as forcing it out of alignment when you bite and chew.
2. The dysfunction affects your trigeminal nerves
Your TMJs are just one of several factors that contribute to your bite’s overall function. Depending on the nature of your TMJ disorder, it may also impact other aspects of this function, such as aggravating the large group of trigeminal nerves that are close to the joints. Your trigeminal nerves innervate the majority of your head and facial structures, making it common for TMJ disorder to cause a variety of additional symptoms besides jaw pain. This can include chronic headaches and migraines, pain in one or both of your ears, sore muscles in your face and neck, and much more.
3. Your imbalanced bite exacerbates the disorder
Most oral health conditions grow more severe when they’re given enough time, but the conditions that TMJ can cause can lead to a wide range of additional concerns developing. For instance, the more imbalanced your bite becomes because of your TMJ disorder, the more likely it is that your healthy, natural tooth structure can become damaged from the uneven pressure. This can further disrupt your TMJ function, and as additional problems develop with your oral health, their symptoms can complicate the signs of your TMJ disorder.
Learn how to alleviate your TMJ pain
If you experience one or several signs of TMJ disorder, then it’s important to address the condition as soon as possible before the symptoms become even more severe. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our dental office in Los Angeles, CA, today at (310) 446-GUMS (4867). We also proudly serve patients living in Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Century City, Encino, and all surrounding communities.