Are You At Risk for TMJ Disorder?


If you have a habit of grinding your teeth or you chew on hard objects or ice cubes when stressed, you may be causing damage to the teeth and jaw. Many people experiencing jaw pain or tenderness around the neck and jaw do not realize these are symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can affect your quality of life and, if left untreated, lead to bite problems and compromise the proper functioning of the jaw.


Identifying Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


Some of the warning signs you may have TMJ disorder include:


• Ear pain

• Popping and clicking sounds around the jaw

• Stiff jaw muscles

• Pain around the temples

• Locked jaw

• Fractured or chipped teeth from bruxism

• Facial pain

• Pain when chewing


Effects of Bruxism on Jaw Heath


Grinding and clenching your teeth can have negative long-term effects on your oral health. The extra pressure around your mouth and jaw can cause a bite misalignment and trigger pain around the jaw joint. This is why it is so important for patients to break any teeth grinding or clenching habits once we have identified them. Doing so can prevent destruction of the teeth and gums, and also preserve mobility of the jaw.


The Link between TMJ Disorder and Sleep Apnea


In most TMJ cases, we see that the jaw is shifted backward. This puts stress on the muscles, ligaments and bones in the jaw, which narrows the airway and limits the positions that the jaw can move. Obstruction of the airway can lead to mouth breathing during sleep, snoring, and the potential for your airway to collapse. If the airway collapses, your air is cut off and you experience an episode of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can cause serious health effects if left untreated. If you experience any TMJ or sleep apnea symptoms we encourage you to contact our office.


Advanced Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder


Our Doctors have successfully completed intensive training through Spear education, gaining experience and comprehensive knowledge of craniofacial pain and sleep-related breathing disorders. We take the time to educate our patients about the diagnosis and treatment so that they can incorporate our suggestions and recommendations into their lifestyle. Learn more about treatment options for TMJ disorder and bruxism by scheduling a consultation.