TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder, is the name given to a group of disorders that can impact the comfortable and proper alignment of the jaw. The underlying cause of TMJ is not always known, though it may be linked to:
- Poor dental work
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Advanced arthritis
When one of these factors is at the root of your condition, treating them may, in turn, correct TMJ. However, TMJ treatment may need to be in addition to other services in order to ensure ideal results.
What Happens When TMJ is Not Treated?
When the underlying cause is an oral health issue, failure to treat TMJ may be linked to additional problems such as tooth loss, uneven enamel wear, and exposed tooth roots. Untreated TMJ may pose its own issues as well. These include:
- Persistent discomfort and swelling around the jaw
- Noises when chewing and biting
- Chronic headaches
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Postural changes
- Digestive issues
TMJ may also increase risks for sinus and ocular pressure, and generalized facial pain. These may be a result of pressure placed on the trigeminal nerve by a misaligned bite. Only through easing this pressure will these TMJ-related symptoms improve.
Postural changes may be a result of tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. When related to TMJ, a slouched posture can cause digestive problems such as acid reflux and slow digestion – the latter of which may cause bloating and gas – and may even impair lung function. Left untreated and these consequences of TMJ may result in serious complications and impair your ability to fully enjoy life. In these cases, TMJ treatment may help improve symptoms, relieve pain, and prevent future oral and systemic health problems.
At Evolution Dental, we offer a range of TMJ treatment options including TENS therapy, occlusal guards, restorative services, and orthodontics, along with physical therapy, exercises, and relaxation techniques. The best way to learn which one is right for you is through a one-on-one consultation at our Calgary office.
Please call 403-208-9965 to schedule your consultation today. Dr. Kendra Schick and our staff welcome patients from all areas of Calgary, Arbour Lake, Cochrane, and surrounding areas of Alberta.