For many of the most common oral health concerns, such as cavities and gingivitis, the impacts they can have on your oral health are similar to the impacts they can have on others. While the specifics of your tooth decay or gum disease may differ, the condition itself follows a progressive pattern that’s common for most patients. However, TMJ disorder (or temporomandibular joint disorder) is unique in many ways, including the specific nature of the condition and how it impacts your oral health and bite function.
The nature of a TMJ disorder
The first thing that’s unique about TMJ disorder is the fact that it doesn’t describe just one condition, but several different potential conditions that can affect one or both of your jaw’s joints. Your TMJs are located on either side of your jaw, and typically, they’re meant to move together at the same time as your bite opens and closes. TMJ disorder can describe one of many different conditions that involve damage or harm to one or both of these joints. This damage may describe tissue damage within the joint, chronic inflammation, a misalignment of one or both joints, or more.
The symptoms and their impact
Because of the different specific conditions that can be categorized as TMJ disorder, the symptoms associated with having a jaw dysfunction can also vary widely. For example, some common symptoms might include popping or clicking in your jaw joints, as well as pain and soreness in your jaw muscles. However, others might include less obvious symptoms, such as:
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Recurring earaches and/or ringing in your ears
- The development of a teeth-grinding habit
- Difficulty biting and chewing your food
- And more
Dealing with your TMJ disorder
When you experience symptoms of TMJ disorder, the most effective way to know it’s a jaw dysfunction is to have it diagnosed by your dentist. Once you know the condition that’s causing your symptoms and the specifics behind the disorder, your dentist can help you effectively deal with it and find relief from those symptoms. For example, for many patients, their TMJ disorder can be addressed with the help of a custom-designed oral appliance, which can help promote a more comfortable position for your lower jaw. This may help alleviate undue pressure on your TMJs that could be causing or contributing to your TMJ disorder and symptoms.
Learn what TMJ disorder and treatment mean
TMJ disorder can be one of the most diverse oral health conditions, and treating it requires personalized care and attention from your dentist. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling the Dental Centre of Conroe in Conroe, TX, today at (936) 441-4600. We serve patients from Conroe and all neighboring communities.