girl pressing side of head where TMJ is located

What Happens if TMJ is Left Untreated?

Team TMJ

Have you experienced jaw pain, or are you having any difficulties opening and closing your mouth? Are you feeling any pain from your jaw, mouth, teeth, face, or shoulders? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then, you may have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also called TMJ. This condition may not seem like its that big of a deal, but it can easily become one – without treatment. It’s very important for both your oral health and overall health to address TMJ as soon as possible.

What Causes of TMJ Pain and Discomfort?

Any disorder of your temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the rest of your head, can be painful. If the joint is irritated or compromised, pain can grow from just an inconvenience to extreme quite rapidly. This is because the temporomandibular joint is so centrally located that discomfort and pain easily spreads. It can expand from the jaw to your mouth and teeth, ears and eyes, neck and head, and even your shoulders. And, TMJ can be easily brought on by simple regular daily behavior. This includes activities like eating, yawning, and talking. Anyone who has TMJ may quickly find themselves suffering from performing typical daily actions like these.

Untreated TMJ

Ignoring TMJ pain and discomfort can cause major consequences with your pain increasing over time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but they’re not a cure, and if TMJ is caused by teeth grinding, your sleep will usually be disturbed as well, which can lead to other issues such as insomnia or depression. 

Leaving the condition untreated can cause many issues with your dental health, too, such as excessive wear on your teeth, or strain or wear that causes teeth to crack or chip over time.

Other problems can also occur if TMJ is left untreated. For example, because the temporomandibular joint is located beneath your ears, lack of treatment can lead to tinnitus or inner ear problems that cause dizziness. Even your vision can be adversely affected by untreated TMJ.

Your jaw can also become injured. The jaw can literally become stuck, making an emergency room visit necessary. Plus, over time the cartilage located in the jaw can be injured, leading to severe conditions such as jaw dislocation. 

Leaving TMJ untreated can also cause issues with chewing and biting, causing those suffering from this issue to eat only soft foods. They may also experience swelling in the jaw or face.

So, visiting your dentist for TMJ treatment is the best solution - not ignoring or adjusting to the TMJ pain. You’ll find treatment is usually as simple as it is effective.

TMJ Treatment

One of the quickest ways to reduce the effects your TMJ symptoms cause in your everyday life is by getting a custom mouthguard from your dental team. When you wear a TMJ mouthguard, it provides a cushion for your jaw and your teeth, relieving pressure and TMJ symptoms.

Making a custom mouth guard is not hard. To create a well-fitted, custom guard, your dentist makes an impression of your mouth and the mouthguard is then molded using a special, comfortable material. 

Your dentist may also suggest TMJ exercises and relaxation techniques, surgical intervention is also possible in severe cases. We can also offer other antiinflammatory treatment. 

Ready to Learn More?

If you’re ready to learn more about TMJ, TMJ treatment, or to schedule a visit, reach out to us at UWS Oral Surgery today. We’re ready to help, any time.