There is a joint on either side of the face that is located in front of the two ears. The temporal bone of the skull and the mandible (or jaw bone) articulates at this point to form the temporomandibular joint. This is a type of a hinge joint as it permits a forward and backward…
Will TMJ Affect My Teeth or Gums?
Suffering from a TMJ disorder? TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is a sliding hinge that connects the jaw to the skull. This joint is responsible for the jaw's ability to open, close and function. When it becomes compromised, the result is a TMJ disorder, which induces discomfort and difficulty eating, speaking and even smiling. Because of the relationship to the oral cavity, TMJ can have a negative effect on the teeth and gums. Keep reading to find out more!
What to know about TMJ as it relates to the teeth and gums
Below is a quick overview of TMJ disorders, specifically as they relate to the teeth and gums. This information can be helpful to review when suffering from a TMJ disorder.
Understanding TMJ and the symptoms
TMJ disorders can be grueling, resulting in unbearable pain and dysfunction. Most people experiencing TMJ will have mild symptoms at first that turn into severe ones when treatment is not administered. Outlined below are some of the most common symptoms that TMJ sufferers experience on a day to day basis.
- Jaw clicking and locking
- Pain when eating and yawning
- Teeth grinding
- Ear pain
- Difficulty eating or yawning
- Teeth sensitivity
- Popping and clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw tenderness
Of course, the symptoms will vary for everyone; however, for the most part, the majority of TMJ sufferers will experience symptoms that affect the teeth.
The teeth and gums
The teeth are definitely affected when a TMJ disorder is present. Sufferers are more likely to engage in bruxism as there is more stress on the jaw and oral cavity. Long-term bruxism can lead to weakened teeth and soft spots. Additionally, the teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
As far as the gums go, they do not have as many direct effects as a result of TMJ disorders. However, that is not to say that there will be no effect. When TMJ disorders are untreated and present, the teeth can become weak. Weakened teeth can lead to unhealthy gums. If the teeth are not as healthy or secure in their sockets then the gums become susceptible, as well.
What else to know
When suffering from TMJ, it is important to know that treatment is very necessary. Avoiding it can lead to serious complications with the oral cavity. Additionally, overall health can be negatively impacted. Even if symptoms are minor, it is highly encouraged to visit a dentist for immediate treatment as this will prevent the symptoms from worsening.
Consult with the dentist
Want to find out more about TMJ disorders? Working with a general dentist is the next step to take. The dentist can provide patient-specific information, while also addressing questions or concerns. Additionally, an evaluation can be done in order to determine a treatment plan. Reach out today to get scheduled for an appointment or to find out more.
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