What Happens If TMJ Is Left Untreated?

What Happens If TMJ Is Left Untreated?

Jun 01, 2023

The temporomandibular joint disorder affects the muscles and joints of the jaw. This disorder can cause various symptoms that can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. The TMJ joint connects the jaw to the skull and allows for the opening and closing of the mouth. When this joint becomes damaged or inflamed, causing pain and discomfort in the jaw.

The symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary from person to person. They can include pain or tenderness in the jaw, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, clicking or popping sounds, headaches, earaches, and dizziness. Some people may also experience toothaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain.

It’s important to seek TMJ treatment in Encinitas, CA, as soon as possible to prevent complications. A dentist or specialist can evaluate your symptoms and provide a treatment plan to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder.

The consequences of untreated TMJ disorder

Ignoring the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder can have serious consequences.

    • Chronic pain and discomfort

Chronic pain and discomfort are among the most common consequences of untreated TMJ. TMJ disorder pain can be mild to severe and constant or intermittent. It may also be exacerbated by certain activities, such as chewing or speaking for extended periods.

    • Difficulty eating and speaking

The TMJ allows us to chew, speak, and yawn. If the joint is not working as it should, it can lead to pain and discomfort when performing these everyday actions. For example, a person with TMJ disorder may experience pain or clicking when opening their mouth wide to take a bite of food. They may also have difficulty chewing certain foods, leading to a limited diet or avoiding certain types of food altogether.

    • Changes in bite and tooth alignment

Untreated temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can lead to various symptoms, including bite and tooth alignment changes.

When the TMJ joint is not functioning properly, it can cause the muscles in the jaw to become overworked and tired. This can lead to clenching or grinding of the teeth, which can cause them to shift out of alignment. Over time, untreated TMJ disorder can cause more severe changes in tooth alignment. It is important to visit a dentist near you for proper treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent bite and tooth alignment.

    • Sleep problems and fatigue

TMJ disorder can cause severe pain in the jaw, neck, and head, making sleeping difficult. Additionally, the tension and stress caused by the disorder can lead to anxiety and depression, further contributing to sleep problems. When you have TMJ disorder, you may experience a range of sleep disturbances, including insomnia, teeth grinding, and sleep apnea.

An Encinitas dentist can help diagnose and treat TMJ, alleviating your symptoms and improving your overall quality of life.

    • Headaches and migraines

The temporomandibular joint is responsible for the movement of the jaw. Any misalignment or damage to the joint can result in pain in the surrounding areas, including the head and neck. The headaches caused by TMJ are often described as tension headaches and can be felt in different parts of the head. The pain is usually dull and constant and can be accompanied by tenderness in the jaw or a clicking sound when opening and closing the mouth. Migraines caused by TMJ are less common but can be debilitating. The pain is often one-sided and throbbing, accompanied by nausea or light and sound sensitivity.

    • Ear problems and ringing in the ears

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located near the ear canal, and when it becomes damaged or inflamed, it can cause pain or discomfort in the ear. Some people experience a ringing or buzzing sound in their ears, known as tinnitus, which can be very distressing.

How to treat TMJ disorder and prevent further consequences

One of the most common treatments is lifestyle changes. This involves avoiding hard, chewy, or crunchy foods, practicing good posture, and avoiding habits such as nail-biting, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding.

Additionally, applying heat or ice reduces pain and inflammation. Another treatment option is physical therapy. A physical therapist can help to alleviate pain and improve jaw movement through exercises and stretches. In some cases, dental treatments such as orthodontic work or bite adjustments may be necessary to correct the underlying cause of TMJ disorder.

Lastly, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joint tissue in rare cases where other treatments have failed.

Visit Sinclair Smiles for more information about the TMJ treatment.

“Any crown or inlay/onlay treatment can be completed the same day in one visit. No need to come back for follow up appointments.”

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