Missing Teeth Can Cause TMJ Problems
By Jonathan D. Stone, D.M.D.
May 16, 2014
Category: Oral Health
What was once a stable bite is now changing due to missing teeth. In the situation in which you lose a tooth, or multiple teeth, it can cause TMJ problems. When TMJ problems are apparent, you can develop headaches and other forms of discomfort. To minimize the possibility of problems, your missing teeth should be replaced immediately. However, if trouble has already set in, then it is important to seek treatment for your TMJ complications from our dentist in Wayne.
What is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints are the points at which the lower jaw attaches to the skull, and are among the most complex joints in the human body. If your jaw clicks or pops, this could be a sign of TMJ disorder. Joint sound is one of the most recognized signs of TMJ disorders. TMJ symptoms include:
- Clicking and/or difficulty when opening and closing your mouth
- Frequent headaches
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Sensitive teeth when no dental problems can be found
- Jaw pain or stiff jaw when chewing, biting, eating or yawning
- Earaches without an infection
Between five and ten percent of Americans suffer from TMJ symptoms that require some form of treatment. By visiting our office, we can help our patients in Wayne find TMJ pain relief with proper treatment.
Remember to Eat Properly
We live in a fast-paced world in which many of us are eating in a hurry, taking giant bites of food, just so we can hurry onto the next task. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, taking bites that are too big to chew properly could be bad for your jaw and teeth.
Those with temporomandibular joint disorder are at particular risk because it can restrict the range of an acceptable bite size. Taking too large of bites of food can aggravate their condition. You should always avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and opening nuts with your teeth, as it can lead to the chipping and breakage of natural teeth and other dental restorations.
Stressed Out? We can tell
Do you have too many things on your “to-do” list and not enough time to do it? It is important to take a deep breath and stay calm when performing stressful tasks. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, when a situation causes stress, many people grind or clench their teeth, which can eventually lead to temporomandibular joint disorder.
When you experience many stressful situations, you may exhibit symptoms such as tightened jaw muscles without realizing it. Over short periods of time, this habit is not detrimental, but long periods of time will prove to be problematic. Prolonged grinding or clenching of your teeth while stressed can cause soreness of the jaw, as well as partial or full locking of the jaw. In addition you may exhibit clicking in the jaw area, earaches that are not caused by infections and pain surrounding your temples.
At the end of the day, if your jaw hurts or your head is still pounding, you may be exhibiting TMJ symptoms in Wayne. Talk to your physician and call our office to ensure that there is no serious problem if your pain continues for several days.
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