TMJ Disorder Side Effects

By Dr. David Wyse on December 18, 2019

Woman with a TMJ disorderA TMJ disorder affects the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that joins the mandible to the cranium. It’s one of the most complicated joints in the entire body given all of the different motions needed to speak, chew, and make facial expressions. Our Bloomington, IL dentists can perform TMJ disorder treatment to help reduce discomfort and restore proper function of the jaw joint.

Dr. Jay W. Chrisman and Dr. David D. Wyse stress to patients that TMJ disorders result in more than just the telltale popping and clicking sound in the jaw joint. Let’s note the side effects of TMJ disorders when they are not treated. First, let’s offer a basic overview of what a TMJ disorder involves.

What Is a TMJ Disorder?

A TMJ disorder is a misalignment of the jaw joint. It can affect the bone and cartilage of the joint as well as the muscles, tendons, nerves, and other soft tissues of the joint. When the TMJ disorder occurs, the jaw is unable to move and function properly.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is one of the most common side effects of a TMJ disorder. When your jaw is not functioning properly, it’s bound to cause you pain and discomfort.

Problems with Jaw Movement

Another side effect of a TMJ disorder involves issues with normal jaw movement. Speaking, laughing, yawning, and chewing may become difficult. It’s even possible to suffer from lockjaw because of your TMJ disorder.

Earaches

Given the proximity of the jaw joint to the ear, the pain from the jaw can radiate to the ear area. It’s not uncommon for people with TMJ disorders to also complain of earaches that accompany their jaw pain.

Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)

The problems with the ear area don’t end at pain. Our Bloomington dentists have spoken to TMJ disorder patients who have also experienced ringing in the ears as a result of their TMJ disorder.

Sore Teeth and Gums

If your TMJ disorder is the result of teeth grinding (bruxism), that means your teeth clench and grind at night while you sleep. It’s not uncommon for this to lead to sore teeth and gums in addition to jaw pain.

Headaches

The clenching, gnashing, and grinding at night combined with the jaw joint dysfunction can lead to headaches around the temples or down around the neck and shoulder area. This is what happens when the parts of the skull and jaw are so interconnected.

Treatments for TMJ Disorders

If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, there are plenty of treatments available. If your TMJ disorder was caused by teeth grinding, a bite guard and orthodontic care may be the ideal treatment option. Treatments can also be performed to address issues with the cartilage of the jaw joint as needed. Surgery for TMJ disorders is only recommended when no other treatment will be effective.

During your consultation, we’ll take time to ensure you get the right treatment to address the problems you’re facing.

Learn More About Treating TMJ Disorders

If you live in the Bloomington area and suffer from jaw pain and stiffness, contact our skilled cosmetic and restorative dentists. Our team can determine if you have a TMJ disorder and develop a treatment option for you. You can reach Chrisman & Wise Cosmetic & General Dentistry by phone at (309) 663-6393.

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