What you put into your oral health is what you’ll get out of it. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint health, abides by the same principle: nurturing it yields positive outcomes. Proper care can ease symptoms and enhance overall well-being.

An Overview on TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is medically known as TMD and stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. For many people, this is a fancy way of saying “jaw pain,” but there is much more to it than that. Your temporomandibular joints sit on either side of your head, just in front of your ears. They connect your lower jaw to the rest of your head. They’re sliding hinges that allow you to talk, laugh, chew, yawn, and speak. Running through your jaw joint is the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is the largest of your cranial nerves and lets you feel sensations on your head and face as well as stimulates jaw movements.

When you have this disorder, your jaw is misaligned and causes that hinge to slip out of its socket. This slippage produces a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth, as well as inflammation and the resulting pain. Common symptoms include pain in your jaw, face, head, neck, and shoulders, teeth grinding, and ear symptoms like sounds, pain, and congestion. TMJ can affect your body in more significant ways too. The bottom line is that treatment can lead to overall healthier life and body.

Reduce Feelings of Vertigo

You may have heard that vertigo is more common as you age. This is true, but just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that you need to resolve to have vertigo. It’s important to know where your vertigo is originating. If your dizziness feelings stem from a TMJ disorder, you can eliminate it by treating your TMJ. You may not realize it, but the ear’s bones were part of our early ancestors’ jawbones. As we evolved, these bones shifted up to be part of our inner ear. This doesn’t mean they are no longer connected. In fact, they are still held together by soft tissues and ligaments. After all, the bones of your inner ear and jawbones are right next to each other! Your causes inflammation in the jaw joint, which pulls on the shared ligaments. This strain causes the structures in your inner ear to become off-kilter, which you experience as dizziness and vertigo. With treatment, you no longer have to experience vertigo. Your worries about falling while exercising, standing on a ladder, or walking near a lake or river can cease. Resume your normal activities and participate in new ones without fear by treating your TMJ.

Reduce Migraines

The connection between migraines and TMJ isn’t well understood. Migraines are a mysterious condition, but if you’ve had one, you know how debilitating they can be. The trigeminal nerve that runs through your jaw joint is thought to be responsible for causing migraines. Theories of swelling and jammed signals could cause the pain you feel from a migraine. Another theory is that the stress from a typical headache that TMJ causes is a migraine trigger. Whatever the exact reason, it’s easy to see why TMJ could cause migraine headaches. Treatment could eliminate your migraines or at least make them less severe and frequent. Any chance at reducing migraine symptoms and triggers is one to take. Nothing ruins the week like a migraine.

Lift You From Depression

Depression is a trickle effect of TMJ disorder, and it’s very common. The truth is that TMJ disorder doesn’t allow you to be fully immersed in your life. When in pain, you tend to avoid social interactions, retreat into your head, and become disinterested in things you usually enjoy. If your jaw is in pain, you won’t want to go out with friends, talk on the phone, or eat the crunchy and tough foods you enjoy. Besides jaw pain, there are headaches, sleepless nights, neck and shoulder stiffness, and tooth pain to worry about, too. Many people who experience depression think, “if only I didn’t feel this way…”. The good news is that you don’t have to. If your depression stems from TMJ-related pain, you can get treated for TMJ and find relief from the pain and sadness that you feel. Get treatment to make you happy and improve your quality of life.

Insomnia

man sleeping peacefully in bedInsomnia is the chronic inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. TMJ is good at causing insomnia because of the stress and pain from bruxism (teeth grinding). Many people with TMJ grind their teeth at night. After a time, this can become extremely painful due to your worn teeth, not to mention the soreness in your jaw muscles after working so hard all night long.

Additionally, your lack of sleep from insomnia can make it harder to seek treatment for other TMJ symptoms like depression. If you aren’t sleeping well at night and are noticing multiple TMJ symptoms, it’s a good indication that treating your TMJ can reduce or eliminate your insomnia.

Health of Teeth

The health of your teeth with TMJ is often overlooked. You may not notice that your teeth are suffering until they begin to break, crack, chip, and hurt. Bruxism typically goes along with TMJ. The overstimulation of the jaw joint causes grinding, though not everyone who grinds their teeth has TMJ. If you know you are grinding during the day, it’s easier to stop consciously. However, many TMJ suffers also grind their teeth at night, which is harder to identify and control. People who grind their teeth also have a higher chance of tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. Enamel is the hard protective layer on your teeth, and it’s irreplaceable. Once it’s ground away by TMJ, it’s easier for bacteria to get into your tooth’s root and cause decay. People with TMJ have the unique chance at curing their bruxism with TMJ treatment. By treating TMJ, you can say goodbye to your grinding habit. After treatment, crowns, or porcelain veneers, your ground teeth can be good as new again.

Weight Loss

Treating your TMJ can help you lose weight. When you suffer from jaw pain, tooth pain, and head pain, eating crunchy or tough foods is the last thing you want to do. Usually, when we are in pain, we stick to soft foods. Generally, this means processed white bread, snacks, and other junk food. We steer clear of healthy foods like raw vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and meat. Changing your diet to include only soft foods not to hurt your teeth will only cause you to gain weight. In treating your TMJ, you can begin to alter your diet to include those healthful foods that are good for your weight—and your teeth!

Looking for TMJ Treatment?

Don’t choose to continue suffering from TMJ pain and its other harmful consequences. Choose to treat your TMJ with the help our our TMJ dentists in Wilmington. You can reduce vertigo and migraines, feel happier, sleep better, keep your teeth in tip-top shape, lose weight, and more with TMJ treatment. You are only a few appointments away from a healthier, happier life.

  1. Schedule an appointment
  2. Come see us
  3. Show off your new, pain-free smile

Call (302) 994-0979 today or schedule an appointment online at the office of Dr. Garrett Goodling. A life free of TMJ is closer than you think.