TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is an oral condition that affects about 20% of the population. TMJ joints, play an integral part in your oral health and overall well-being by supporting and connecting your lower jaw to the rest of your skull, allowing you to chew food properly and help keep your mouth healthy and free of infection.
However, not many are aware that TMJ disorder can severely impact your oral health and overall health if left untreated over time. Luckily, there are many options to help you treat TMJ that don’t involve surgery! Keep reading to learn more about the impact of TMJ and some treatment options.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, is a condition where the mandible (or lower jaw) moves out of alignment with the skull. This can cause pain in one or both jaws, difficulty chewing food, earaches, headaches and neck pain. In some cases, teeth grinding may occur as well as muscle spasms in the face and mouth area. In many cases, these symptoms are due to chronic stress on your temporomandibular joints from poor posture, malocclusion of teeth, bruxism (teeth grinding), clenching or grinding teeth during sleep etc.
How TMJ Impacts Your Oral Health?
The temporomandibular joint makes it possible for you to eat and speak by opening and closing. When this joint gets out of alignment or misaligned, it can cause a myriad of problems, including headaches, neck pain, tooth grinding and soreness in the jaw muscles. Not only does TMJ impact oral health, but it also impacts general health because it affects everything from posture to eating habits.
How TMJ affects your overall health
You may not know it, but the jaw plays a key role in many aspects of your health. That’s because it is the only joint that connects your head and neck with the rest of your body. When this joint is misaligned or too tight, it can cause other issues, like headaches, earaches, neck pain, back pain or trouble swallowing.
TMJ Treatment Options
Tmj treatment Albuquerque options include taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, wearing a mouth guard while sleeping or during sports activities, or undergoing surgery on the jaw joint itself.
As you see, there are many treatment options for TMJ, from medication to surgery. The first thing that you should do if you think you might have TMJ is to see a tmj specialist in Albuquerque, who will determine the next steps in your care.
The tmj dentist in Albuquerque can prescribe medications such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants which may reduce the discomfort caused by the condition, but may not solve it entirely. Surgery is a last resort after all other treatments have failed.
Tips for Preventing TMJ
If you have misalignments in the temporomandibular joint, it can lead to an array of uncomfortable symptoms. The good news is that there are some simple ways you can prevent these issues from arising! For example, be sure not to clench or grind your teeth while sleeping; avoid chewing gum too vigorously or hard foods like apples; don’t talk with food in your mouth; use a straw when drinking soda or tea; drink lots of water to keep saliva flowing, so bacteria don’t settle on your teeth.
For more information on TMJ treatment options, please speak to your tmj specialist in Albuquerque or call us today. We can help you find the right treatment plan.