Complications of TMJ Disorder

By John Rink DDS on April 11, 2018

Male suffering from complications of TMJ disorderThe TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, connects the lower jaw to the bones of the skull. The TMJ allows the jaw to move up and down and side-to-side. Essentially, the TMJ is what enables a person to bite, chew, and speak comfortably. 

Unfortunately, many people suffer from TMJ disorder, a condition that impairs the function of the jaw and surrounding nerves and muscles. TMJ disorder can lead to numerous uncomfortable symptoms, and has the potential to cause complications. 

Dr. John Rink offers TMJ disorder treatment, which reduces the pain of TMJ disorder, improves the function of the jaw, and corrects issues that may be causing the condition to begin with. To avoid the potential complications of TMJ disorder, our Charleston, SC patients should discuss treatment options with Dr. Rink as soon as possible.

Chronic Pain

Pain is often the first sign that a person is suffering from TMJ disorder. Although TMJ disorder directly affects the joint that connects the jaw and skull, this condition can cause many different types of discomfort. 

TMJ disorder is most commonly known to cause headaches, facial pain, and tooth pain. However, pain can also extend to the neck, shoulders, and even the ears. 

Unfortunately, pain caused by TMJ disorder can be substantial. Most people with TMJ disorder suffer from chronic pain, meaning that it is something they deal with on nearly a daily basis. The only way to eliminate this pain for good is to treat TMJ disorder.

Dental Problems

Dental problems are extremely common in patients suffering from TMJ disorder. When a person has TMJ disorder, they tend to alter their bite. In doing so, they place the teeth and jaw in an unnatural position. When the natural bite is thrown off, it places extra stress on the teeth and can also lead to orthodontic issues and bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). 

Because of the stress that TMJ disorder places on the teeth, patients with this condition are likely to have thinner, weaker tooth enamel. As a result, these patients are more likely to suffer from dental complications such as tooth decay and infection. 

By treating TMJ disorder, patients can preserve the strength and health of their teeth and avoid unwanted dental problems.

Limited Jaw Function

TMJ disorder has a huge impact on the health and function of the jaw. Patients suffering from TMJ disorder are likely to have limited jaw mobility. It may be difficult to open the mouth fully, which can limit jaw functions and make it harder to eat and chew. 

It is common for individuals with TMJ disorder to hear a clicking sound, or notice a popping sensation when they move the jaw up and down or side-to-side. 

Many patients even suffer from “lockjaw,” a condition in which the jaw temporarily sticks in place, so that the mouth cannot close or open. All of these complications are signs that a patient is in need of prompt treatment for TMJ disorder.

Schedule an Appointment

TMJ disorder is a painful condition that can lead to a wide range of complications. If you believe that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder and would like to learn more about your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Rink at your earliest convenience.

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