Have you ever found yourself searching the internet for “causes of jaw pain?” How about TMJ pain, jaw popping, pain when chewing, or any other discomfort or difficulty in using your jaw? You’re not alone – around 15 percent of adults have some form of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD).
You might be wondering if TMJ pain can cause problems for other areas of your body, and the answer is undoubtedly yes. Aside from headaches and dental pain there are some severe problems that can result from untreated TMD. At Really Smile Dentistry we want to help you find TMD relief not only for the sake of your smile, but for the sake of your health and quality of life as well!
Your TMJ is the spot where your jawbone meets your skull. If aligned properly it can function without problems for life, but that isn’t always the case. Changes in your bite, an injury, arthritis, a bad bite, or any number of other issues can change the way your jaw fits into your skull, and when that happens your TMJ isn’t sitting right.
When your jaw joint isn’t allowed to move like it naturally does it gets seriously painful. It pops, clicks, locks, and sends waves of pain shooting through your face, neck, and back. The longer it’s left untreated the worse it can get too!
From Bite To Body: Feeling TMD Everywhere
Referred pain is a condition where a problem in one part of the body is causing discomfort somewhere else. Take a bad foot for example: you might not be walking right, which causes pain in your hip and back as well.
It’s the same with your jaw – if it’s not allowed to function properly you WILL feel it elsewhere in your body. Where, when, and how severe it happens will vary from person to person, but the pain will come eventually!
Muscles: Just Like Dominos
Don’t think of a muscle as an isolated element of your body: think of each one as a puzzle piece that relies on all its neighbors to make things work right. When something goes wrong with a particular part of the body, like your jaw joint, it throws the muscles around it into disarray. They’re forced to adapt by acting in irregular ways, which in turn forces other muscles to change their behavior as well.
Before you know it you’re experiencing pain in your jaw, your temples, your neck, and your back – all because your jaw joint isn’t working right! The spread and severity of pain can come and go with your TMD symptoms, but all that stiffness and pain is maddening!
All those facial muscles surrounding the TMJ are also near a lot of nerves as well. When your jaw is out of alignment and your muscles are feeling irritated or stressed you can end up causing problems for your nerves as well!
Plenty of TMD patients have reported numbness and tingling in their face, neck, chest, and arms because of their jaws, which can be absolutely terrifying.
It Taps Into Your Spine Too
Stiff sore muscles cause a lot of fatigue and strain on other body parts. In the case of your back and neck that strain can result in posture problems because of the way your jaw is pulling on the muscles of your neck and face.
Over time you can develop poor posture, constant backaches, and a strained neck – all because of your jaw joint! It’s hard to believe that such a simple sounding problem can do so much, but that just goes to show you how connected every part of the body is!
Getting Relief For TMJ Pain
At Really Smile Dentistry we use a series of advanced diagnostic tests to measure your jaw function and prescribe the best treatment for your unique case. From 3D imaging and X-rays to bite tests and visual exams, we’ll be able to expertly diagnose you and get you the help you need.
We specialize in neuromuscular dentistry at our Carmel office, a process by which we find how each part of your jaw and its muscles is acting incorrectly in order to fix it permanently. Using a variety of treatments we aim to eliminate your TMD, not just treat the symptoms.
We’re confident that we can deliver permanent, effective relief to your TMJ pain. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us at 317-451-4050 or you can request an appointment online. We hope to see you soon!