What Happens When TMJ Disorder Goes Untreated?

June 17, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Benjamin Hornstein @ 2:15 pm
Woman with a disorder affecting her TMJ in Beachwood

If you’ve ever woken up with a minor headache or tooth sensitivity, only to have it go away on its own, you may not have thought it was a big deal. But what happens when it starts to become a regular occurrence? What do you do when the pain doesn’t go away on its own and you’ve decided to simply live with it? Symptoms like these indicate there is something wrong with your TMJ in Beachwood. Keep reading to learn what can happen when you go too long without treatment and what your next steps should be.

Chronic Pain (Not Just in the Jaw)

TMJ disorder specifically affects the joints that attach the jaw to the skull. While the overworking of these joints can certainly lead to chronic jaw pain, it’s far from the only area the pain can appear. Not only will intermittent jaw pain begin to become constant, but it can extend to the head in the form of chronic headaches and even migraines. Additionally, discomfort can start to reach the neck, shoulders and even upper back.

Damage to the Jaw Joints

While joints are not bones, they certainly can respond similarly when they are damaged or overworked. For example, broken bones need casts to begin to heal properly, and the jaw joints need personalized treatment before they can actually begin the healing process. Without it, they continue to become inflamed and only break down further, making the act of healing only more difficult.

Sleep Disorders

In many cases, people tend to develop TMJ disorder because they have a misaligned bite. If the bite is misaligned, this means it’s not resting in the place it should be to allow proper airflow during sleep. That also means that the brain is not getting the oxygen it needs throughout the night. Without proper treatment of the TMJ, long-term problems including sleep apnea, chronic fatigue, and increased difficulty concentrating can develop.

Long-Term Mental Health Problems

When you want to be productive at your job or able to maintain positive relationships with friends and family, it can be extremely difficult when you have an untreated TMJ disorder. For example, untreated pain can cause you to feel more irritable throughout the day and even result in sudden mood swings and bouts of depression. These side effects can only be compounded when you aren’t able to get proper sleep as a result of TMJ pain.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to settle for chronic pain or the long-term side effects of TMJ disorder. Get in touch with a dentist in Beachwood and learn how you can take charge of your quality of life once and for all.

About The Center for Advanced Dentistry

Dr. Hornstein and Dr. Schlessel take whole-body wellness into account when treating conditions like TMJ disorder. Following a thorough examination of your jaw, including it’s current condition and mobility, they can recommend a variety of treatment options designed to provide relief for your symptoms and address them at their source. This may include an orthotic device, TENS unit, or a referral to a trusted medical or dental specialist if needed. To schedule an appointment, you can contact them through their website.

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