Almost everyone recognizes common dental issues like cavities and gum disease, and is aware of their common symptoms, like toothaches and bleeding gums. But not every threat to your smile is as obvious or well-known. For instance, TMJ disorder affects millions of people, many of whom don’t yet realize it. The jaw dysfunction is often the reason behind seemingly random symptoms, including a popping jaw or chronic headaches, and if left untreated, such symptoms will grow increasingly worse.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and describes the two joints that connect your lower jaw to the temporal bones in your skull. Your jaw moves on your TMJs, and proper balance in your jaw and teeth is necessary for them to operate properly. A TMJ disorder can be any condition in which the jaw’s joints are misaligned, damaged, inflamed, or traumatized, which often occurs due to a bite imbalance.
Am I susceptible?
While some people may be more likely to develop TMJ disorders, especially if they have misaligned teeth or an imbalanced bite, almost anyone can experience the condition. Your dentist can determine your likelihood of developing a TMJ disorder by keeping a close eye on your oral health with routine checkups and cleanings. Regular examinations will increase your chances of detecting and treating a TMJ disorder early, or preventing one from forming with personalized treatment.
What are the warning signs?
Because your jaw movement relies on your TMJs, one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders is a popping/clicking sensation when you open and close your mouth. Other symptoms can include difficulty moving your jaw at all, chronic pain and tenderness in your jaw muscles, chronic headaches, and more.
Ask Your Dentist About TMJ Solutions
If you experience any of the symptoms of TMJ disorder, then speak with your dentist to diagnose your condition and find an appropriate solution. To schedule an examination, call Dr. Steven Huffstutler in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-577-1444.