There are some dental concerns that are easy to identify, and because of this, they’re often successfully addressed before they have the chance to lead to any significant harm. However, that isn’t always the case, and sometimes, even easy-to-control conditions like tooth decay can become severe enough to impact more of your oral health than you realize. With TMJ disorder, however, the symptoms are rarely as obvious and clear as the signs of tooth decay or other common concerns. This is one of the most important things to remember about dealing with TMJ disorder and the discomfort that it can cause.
The source of trouble in your jaw joints
The “TMJ” in TMJ disorder stands for temporomandibular joint, which are the joints that control your jaw’s movement. The two TMJs on either side of your jaw are meant to work together as your bite opens, closes, and chews, allowing your jaw the wide range of movement that it needs. TMJ disorder can describe a variety of problems with one or both of these joints that inhibits their ability to function properly together. This can lead to a several different types of discomfort, including jaw pain and dysfunction as well as chronic headaches, migraines, ear pain, and much more.
The damage TMJ disorder can do
The different forms of discomfort that TMJ disorder can cause stem from the specific type of damage that has occurred to one or both of your TMJs. This may include inflammation in one or both of the joints, or a misalignment in how one of the joints moves. The main problem with TMJ disorder is that it can severely inhibit your bite’s ability to function, and the more your oral structures have to compensate for it, the more damage the condition can lead to. For example, many people who have TMJ disorder also have bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, to deal with, as well.
Treating your TMJ disorder comfortably
For many people who suffer from TMJ disorder, addressing the condition can often be more comfortable and conservative than they expect. For instance, TMJ disorder can often be treated with a custom-designed oral appliance, which helps alleviate pressure on your jaw joints while you sleep every night. The appliance is designed to offer your lower jaw and oral structures optimal support, and in a position that doesn’t place either of the joints under undue stress.
Learn how we can help you deal with TMJ disorder
You may not always recognize the symptoms of TMJ disorder, but dealing with it is as soon as possible is important to maintaining your oral health and bite function. 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.