When you have a toothache or notice that your gums look troubled, it may be clear that you should visit your dentist to deal with the issue. However, the problem with TMJ disorder (or temporomandibular joint disorder) is that they symptoms aren’t always the same for everyone. In fact, the disorder itself can mean different things for everyone who experiences it, which means treatment for it has to be highly personalized. It also means that treating your condition and finding relief from its symptoms will require understanding as much as you can about your specific TMJ disorder.
Why it can be different for everyone
Your temporomandibular joints are among the most complex joints throughout your entire body. Both of your TMJs, which are located on either side of your jaw, are meant to work together and move at the same time as you open and close your bite. TMJ disorder can describe one of a wide range of issues that inhibit this function for one or both of your jaw’s joints. This might mean the joint is damaged, misaligned, suffers from chronic inflammation, or is compromised in another potentially serious way. The nature of the damage to your TMJs may not be the same as other patients with TMJ disorder, and both the symptoms and appropriate solutions can also vary greatly.
Are there risk factors to developing TMJ disorder?
For more common conditions like tooth decay and gum disease, the risk factors for developing them are fairly straightforward. For example, inadequate dental hygiene practices, inconsistent preventive dental visits, and unhealthy eating and snacking habits can all increase your risks of oral bacteria overwhelming your teeth and/or gums. However, the risk factors for developing TMJ disorder can sometimes be less straightforward. Seemingly minor things like a teeth-grinding habit, a slight misalignment in your teeth, or more can place excessive pressure on one or both of your TMJs. Determining your specific risk factors, or diagnosing the specific cause of your TMJ disorder, requires a comprehensive examination of your oral health by an experienced dentist.
How to tell if your TMJs need correction
While the causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary widely, the fact that the disorder impacts your bite’s ability to function can sometimes be a clear sign that you have it. For instance, if you notice yourself grinding your teeth often, feel your TMJs popping or clicking when they move, or experience chronic pain in your jaws, then you should speak to your dentist about your symptoms. If you have TMJ disorder, then diagnosing and treating it as soon as possible will be the best way to avoid or alleviate the different symptoms you experience because of it.
Learn more about dealing with TMJ disorder
Having TMJ disorder can sometimes be confusing, especially if you don’t understand the factors behind it or the various symptoms that could hint at it. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.