An injury or trauma can cause jaw problems
Accidents are a part of life. No matter how careful we are, or how hard we work to avoid injuries, most of us will experience a mishap or two through the course of our lives.
An injury or trauma can cause problems beyond the injury site. Why? Your system of ligaments, muscles, joints, and nerves are connected, and they work as a unit to run your body.
For example, a back injury can cause neck pain. When your neck muscles are sore or strained, the position of your head atop your spine can be altered. When your head is off kilter, it can impact the function of your jaw leading to poor function and discomfort.
An injured jaw is the most obvious injury that could be connected to a TMJ disorder, but, essentially, an injury to any part of your body can alter the delicate balance of your bite as the impact of the injury can travel throughout your body.
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Missing or damaged teeth can cause problems too
A missing, broken, or chipped tooth can affect the integrity of your mouth and jaw causing a host of potential problems.
- Facial changes: When you are missing teeth, the shape of your face can change. That’s because your teeth play a secondary role as one of the supporting structures for your face. Without its support, you could find your face wrinkling or aging prematurely.
- Bone loss: When you’re missing teeth, over time you begin to lose bone mass in your jaw. Just as the bones of your body need to bear weight to keep their mass, your jawbones need the action of effective chewing to keep their size and strength.
- TMJ: TMJ is common in people with damaged or missing teeth. This is because damaged or missing teeth can alter the way your teeth mesh together. If your upper and lower jaws don’t meet in an effective, balanced way due to tooth problems, over time the muscles that control them can become strained as they work hard to compensate.
Strained, stressed jaw muscles can put pressure on the surrounding nerves causing painful TMJ symptoms in your head like headaches, eye pain or ear problems. As your tired jaw muscles become ineffective, the surrounding muscles of your neck, shoulders and back pitch in. If the jaw imbalance persists, eventually these muscles tire as well, causing neck pain, aching shoulders, back issues, and postural problems.
Healing takes time … and, sometimes, extra treatment
Injuries sustained as a result of traumatic events like falls, crashes or impacts need time to heal. While the injured area will eventually mend itself, it sometimes needs a little help. Stitches for cuts, casts for broken bones, or surgeries to repair damaged tissues or ligaments can all work wonders.
If you’ve recovered from an injury, and find yourself suffering from TMJ symptoms, like:
- Chronic headaches.
- Clicking or popping in your jaw joints.
- Earaches, ear congestion or a ringing sound in your ears
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Tight or tired jaws, shoulders
- Pain behind your eyes
- Postural problems
you may need a little extra help.
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Are you suffering from TMJ?
If you’d like to find out if TMJ is the cause of your painful symptoms, and whether TMJ dental treatment options could help, please come in for a consultation.