The older we get, the more body aches and pains we begin to have. Jaw pain is often one of these common issues for older individuals. Not only can severe pain cause migraines, but it can also prevent you from enjoying everyday life. Still, there is hope for people suffering from pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The dental care team at Dobson Ranch Dental Care helps treat TMJ disorders, and our office is one of the go-to destinations for this type of oral therapy. If you’re suffering from severe jaw pain, then you might have a TMJ disorder, or TMD. Here are some key facts you need to know.
1. TMD Pain Travels
The severe pain associated with TMD can travel to other areas of your body, including the inner ear, down your neck, and through the muscles throughout your head and shoulders. Often, people assume they just have a severe migraine, when in reality, they have a disorder at the TMJ. The jaw area may also be tender to the touch, leading your dentist to the conclusion of TMD.
2. Teeth Grinding Can Cause TMJ Pain
While sudden impact and sports-related facial injuries can cause TMJ pain, so can bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding of teeth while sleeping, and many people don’t even know they do it. Along with the grinding comes clenching, which can disrupt sleep and cause people to wake up with a headache, jaw pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or all of the above.
3. Neck Problems Can Cause TMD
Whether your TMD stems from a neck injury or misalignment of your spine, chronic neck pain can cause TMD. The C1 vertebra is near the TMJ bone, and its misalignment can pinch nerves and cause muscle tension, pulling on the TMJ, facial muscles, and inner ear. People with a C1 injury or issue might also experience pain in the upper shoulders and back. Getting this vertebra aligned can help relieve many of the issues associated with TMD.
4. Stress Can Make TMD Worse
Even if you’re not one with bruxism, more stress can cause TMD. An increase in stress can cause sleeping issues, including the clenching and unclenching of your jaw. This not only puts undue tension on your TMJ, but it also cause stiff neck and shoulder muscles. When you consider all of these factors happening at once, it should be no surprise that people can develop TMD, even with proper oral care and stress relief.
5. TMD Causes Limited Range of Motion
When you experience severe TMJ pain, not only are you less inclined to open your mouth, you may not even be able to. The pain associated with TMJ disorders can prevent people from eating, drinking, laughing, talking, and even singing. The TMD prevents the full range of motion in your jaw, which prohibits your activities, making life extremely frustrating and difficult. It’s also not uncommon for people to experience lockjaw for a short period of time, depending on what caused their TMD.
Let’s Treat Your TMJ Disorder
If you’re experiencing excruciating pain in your jaw, shoulders, and neck, then it’s time to call Dobson Ranch Dental Care. TMD can also cause extreme tooth sensitivity, so it’s important that you schedule an appointment right away. We proudly serve residents throughout Mesa, AZ, and offer TMJ therapy as well as root canal therapy, teeth whitening, and periodontal treatment. Schedule your appointment online or call (480) 838-8558.