Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ for short, is when the tempormandibular joint (jaw joint), has an acute or chronic inflammation, causing the sufferer to experience:
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- Biting or chewing discomfort
- Jaw clicking
- Pain and tenderness in the jaw
Tooth pain/problems are a common occurrence with the TMJ disorder. During everyday life, there will be a variety of different pressures and forces on your teeth which can all contribute to developing TMJ. For example, if you lost one of your permanent teeth and did not replace it with a dental implant, crown, bridge etc, the forces in your jaw would change and the surrounding teeth would start to move towards the newly created gap – which in its own right will cause a number of problems:
- Teeth will start to look crooked and wonky
- Bone around the tooth will start to recede
- Affects the way the jaw closes
The changes in movements and pressure in your mouth have been proven to further increase the chance of the TMJ dysfunction.
What options are available for addressing TMJ?
TMJ can be an extremely uncomfortable condition for someone to have, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. Unfortunately there are no medicines that can cure or prevent TMJ, but there are various exercises and treatments you can do:
- Braces can control the pressures in your mouth, as well as addressing your cross/over bite
- Stretching the muscles can greatly relieve the pain
Fortunately, the pain of TMJ can be reduced by either visiting your dentist, doctors and even chiropractors, who will be in a good position to examine you and give you the most relevant information and help. If you believe you are suffering from any of the symptoms it is recommended to visit one of your health professionals – The earlier a condition is identified, the better the chance of a quick treatment and recovery.
This article has been contributed by Dr Gursh Bajwa, a highly trained and commended orthodontic dentist in Solihull, Birmingham. Please visit his practice’s site www.onedentalclinic.co.uk