The Truth About TMJ Disorder, Body Pain, and Headaches
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a frequently-used joint that allows us to speak, chew, and yawn. Because it is so frequently used, the TMJ is vulnerable to dysfunction, which can have devastating effects on your health and daily life. At Smile Montreal, our dental professionals can expertly diagnose and treat bothersome TMJ disorders.
The effects of a TMJ disorder are as widespread as they are numerous. Here, our Montreal, QC, dental team reveals the truth about TMJ disorder, body pain, and headaches. Understanding these far-reaching effects is the first step in diagnosing and treating a TMJ disorder.
Defining TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorders are fairly common, as the TMJ Association (TMJA) believes that up to 35 million Americans suffer from some form of the condition. The condition can develop for many reasons, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Improper dental alignment
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Stress, anxiety, or depression
Determining the root cause of a TMJ disorder requires a collaborative effort between the patient and dentist. That’s why our team will help you consider the little-known effects of a TMJ disorder, like pervasive pain and headaches.
Exploring TMJ Pain
The usual symptoms of a TMJ disorder include tight jaw muscles, clicking or popping in the jaw, and difficulty chewing. However, there are many sneaky symptoms that patients don’t associate with a TMJ disorder, including radiating head, neck, and back pain.
Headaches and Migraines
A 2018 study found a link between headache frequency and early-onset TMJ disorder. This means that the frequency and severity of headaches not only worsen a TMJ disorder, but can cause a TMJ disorder, too.
In many cases, a TMJ disorder can advance headaches from a minor inconvenience to debilitating migraines. Experts widely attribute this to the immense amount of pressure and tension that a TMJ disorder places on the jaw, face, and head muscles.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
TMJ pain may force the body to employ the help of compensatory neck, shoulder, and back muscles for jaw-related activities. Overcompensating with these muscles can lead to:
- Limited mobility in the neck
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- An inability to relax the neck and shoulders
These symptoms may be responsible for nearly 70% of neck and shoulder pain. As a result, many patients notice worsening posture that eventually leads to significant upper and lower back pain.
Recruiting neck and back muscles to assist the jaw in chewing, speaking, and yawning can have profound effects on the spine. Poor posture, muscular fatigue, pinched nerves, and limited mobility are all back-related hazards of a TMJ disorder.
How We Can Help
Our Montreal dentists use modern technology to track, analyze, and diagnose jaw disorders. This technology allows us to pinpoint the root cause of your TMJ disorder so that we can effectively and efficiently treat your condition.
Common TMJ disorder treatments may include:
- Orthotic splints
- Full-mouth rehabilitation or reconstruction
- Removing small amounts of dental tissue
Schedule a TMJ Disorder Consultation Now
Determining which treatment option is best for you starts by scheduling an appointment at Smile Montreal. Patients can easily request an appointment online here or by calling our team directly at (514) 937-6558.