Serving Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle
You may never have heard of the temporomandibular joint, or know what it does. If your temporomandibular joint develops problems, however, it can affect your oral health as well as your ability to function and perform routine tasks.
When the temporomandibular joint has a dysfunction, this is known as temporomandibular joint disorder—or TMJ for short.
What causes TMJ?
TMJ can develop as a consequence of an injury to the jaw. The disorder also can result from a blow or impact suffered to the head or neck. These injuries also may cause a dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket of the temporomandibular joint itself.
Other causes of TMJ include the following:
- Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
- Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint
- Misaligned bite
- Missing teeth
The risks of TMJ
Chronic pain is one of the most common symptoms of a TMJ sufferer. Why does this happen? Because the temporomandibular joint is in proximity to the trigeminal nerve, which carries more sensory input than any other neural pathway in the body—even the spinal cord. Pain from TMJ can manifest in the face, neck, shoulders, and even the back.
Another frequent consequence of TMJ is painful headaches that resemble migraines. Taking usual migraine remedies can alleviate the pain of the headaches themselves, but not their frequency. If you have been suffering from migraines with no relief, then TMJ could be the cause and the headaches will not stop until the TMJ itself is treated.
TMJ also can cause the following issues:
- Teeth that become loose, worn, chipped or cracked
- Dental restorations that are cracked, chipped or broken
- Jaw soreness, locked jaw, limited movement in the jaw, or clicking sounds in the jaw
- Pain in teeth that migrates to different locations in the mouth
- Numbness in extremities
- Congestion or stuffiness in the ears
If you or someone you love currently has TMJ, this problem will not go away on its own. In fact, over time, the symptoms associated with TMJ will get worse. Dr. Clinton Esler specializes in diagnosing and treating TMJ. If you suffer from any combination of the symptoms, TMJ could be the cause. Contact our office by calling (806) 358-8021 to schedule a consultation.
The Esler Dental Group is proud to serve patients in Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.