TMJ disorder is uncomfortable and inconvenient for the patient; more importantly, however, this condition can actually lead to very serious dental health issues down the road. Today our O’Fallon dentists are giving you additional information about how TMJ issues are related to common dental health problems. We hope that this information helps you keep moving forward toward optimal oral health.
Let’s quickly review what we mean by “TMJ disorder;” when your temporomandibular joints become damaged or beginning to deteriorate, you are suffering from a TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Your TMJs allow you to emote, chew, speak, and basically move your mouth freely!
So, as you would imagine, when your temporomandibular joints are not functioning well, you may notice a wide variety of problematic symptoms: pain near your TMJs, limited jaw mobility, popping and clicking sensations in your jaw, head/neck/jaw/should pain.
Additionally, TMJ disorder can cause very specific negative changes to your smile:
· TMJ sufferers may find it difficult to thoroughly clean their back molars. Consequently, patients may develop cavities and oral tissue infections in those hard-to-reach places in their mouths.
· Because TMJ disorder can change the way your top and bottom teeth come together, this disorder can lead to uneven bite alignment and premature dental enamel thinning. This weakens your teeth, and leaves them vulnerable to developing cracks, chips, stains, and cavities.
· TMJ problems may also cause your teeth to shift and your dental alignment to change, as your top and bottom teeth push against each other, and try to find a comfortable way to come together.
If you have any questions about how best to care for your smile, our O’Fallon dentists are happy to provide you with the information and guidance that you need. No matter what your oral health concern, we can help you get back on track!