What are TMJ Disorders?
Did you know there is a hidden joint called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) right in front of your ear? You’ll know that you have TMJ-related issues if you experience pain whenever you try to open and close your mouth. Thankfully, the best dentist in Omaha can help you find relief.
A TMJ disorder is a condition that can significantly affect your overall health and well-being. Some of the possible reasons for your TMJ working improperly include misaligned teeth, arthritis, injury, and stress. If left untreated, you may have difficulty chewing your food, speaking, or even yawning.
While millions of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, only a few of them have the correct information about this condition. Since myths continue to surround this disorder, it’s best to learn the truth behind the misconceptions.
Debunking the Common Myths About TMJ Disorders
MYTH 1: “TMJ disorders are not common.”
Although TMJ isn’t something people talk about often, it’s not a rare condition. Research shows that about 12% of the U.S. population is affected by some form of TMJ disorder.
MYTH 2: “You don’t have TMJ disorder if your jaw doesn’t pop.”
TMJ disorders and their symptoms vary from one individual to another. You may still have a TMJ disorder if you experience chronic neck pain, headache, backache, stiffness of the jaw, tension, and soreness in the jaw joint. Some individuals even experience a loss of balance.
MYTH 3: “TMJ disorders are completely harmless.”
While TMJ disorders are not exactly life-threatening conditions, they shouldn’t be ignored. Without proper treatment, these disorders can potentially wreak havoc on your life. For instance, you’ll experience pain and discomfort around the jaw joint and the areas that surround it.
Additionally, if your TMJ issue was triggered by bruxism, you’re more likely to suffer decay and tooth loss due to the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw that will eventually wear down the enamel. Aside from this, TMJ disorders may also trigger hearing issues, vertigo, and balance problems, which reduce your ability to complete your daily tasks.
MYTH 4: “TMJ disorders are caused by accidents.”
Countless people are diagnosed with TMJ disorders after suffering whiplash from car accidents. However, disorders related to the TMJ may also be caused by stress, a misaligned bite, and teeth grinding. Your dentist has to take your past medical history and make a thorough analysis of your jaw before they can identify the cause and create a customized treatment plan for you.
MYTH 5: “TMJ disorders are permanent.”
Contrary to what you may have heard, TMJ disorders aren’t permanent. Your dentist can help you find the cause of your specific case of TMJ disorder and find the proper treatment that suits your unique needs. For example, orthodontic treatment may fix your TMJ disorder if its underlying cause is a misaligned bite.
On the other hand, if your TMJ disorder was caused by trauma or an accident, your dental health care provider may recommend a surgical procedure to realign your upper and lower jaw. TMJ disorders that are triggered by stress and anxiety can be treated by medication and therapy.
Wearing an oral appliance is strongly recommended by dental health practitioners. As you wear this appliance over your teeth, it works to reduce the stress on your jaw while it protects your teeth from damage caused by your TMJ disorder.
Looking for the Best Dentist in Omaha?
You don’t have to suffer from TMJ disorder. At Dentistry for Health, we strive to create confidence by using a collective interdisciplinary approach to create a naturally beautiful smile designed to support your holistic health. Our management of your condition is tailored to your needs and desires. Contact us today to book your appointment.