If you suffer from headaches, earaches, pain in your jaw or even common neck and shoulder pain, Temporomandibular joint disorder may be what ails you. If you’re unsure what may have brought this on, the answer may hit close to home. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is the inflammation and subsequent discomfort of the Temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull. While it involves a number of different parts of the human body, the cause of this condition is often the human body itself – or at least how it acts.
The inflammation and pain associated with TMJ involves muscle, bone, teeth and tissue, resulting in widespread discomfort for those who suffer from it. This can include headaches, earaches, pain in the jaw or while chewing, discomfort in the face and a painful neck or shoulders.
In some cases this is caused by genetic or developed conditions, including degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis as well as more specific conditions such as myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome. Direct trauma to the jaw or facial area, such as that suffered in an automobile accident, can also spark an onset of TMJ.
In many instances, however, human behavior, especially of a repetitive nature, is what causes and exacerbates this painful disorder.
Dental neglect is often a source of the disorder. Individuals who fail to take care of their teeth see the surface of each tooth wear down due to harmful bacteria such as plaque, as well as due to foods such as sugar. This creates an uneven and misaligned surface, which in turn causes teeth to sit unevenly on each other and places added stress on the jawbone.
Having an uneven overbite, or a lack of one in general, also causes the jawbone to rest uneasily, creating unneeded stress on it that can lead to inflammation. This is another situation that can be rectified by maintaining oral health through visits to a dentist or orthodontist.
Specific individual behaviors often lead to TMJ as well. Grinding of the teeth while sleeping, otherwise known as bruxism, is a leading source of the condition. Chewing portions of food that are too large and difficult for the mouth to handle also places unneeded stress on the joint, which can lead to the condition as well. Individuals who chew excessive amounts of gum or bite their nails incessantly also face an increased risk for the disorder.
While human behaviors such as these can often be the source of discomfort related to the temporomandibular joint, there are many other unrelated, more rare sources of the condition that can only be diagnosed by a doctor. Patients who suffer from any combination of these symptoms but do not exhibit any of these types of behaviors should still consult with their doctor as to the cause of their discomfort.
You can go and let TMJ specialist Los Angeles check on that so that you can have the proper solution for it.
TMJ is a painful and at times debilitating condition that affects many people around the world. Its onset and progression can also be halted by simple changes in lifestyle or habits that can be undertaken at any time, and it’s never too late to do so to help ensure a more comfortable future for yourself or a loved one.