April 17, 2020
Lately, you’ve noticed that you’ve been waking up with pain in your jaw every morning. There’s also a clicking noise every time you open and close your mouths. These issues are annoying, but so far they’ve been manageable. Surely you can just keep living your life as normal without seeking treatment for such minor issues? Don’t make this mistake; the symptoms associated with an injured TMJ in Las Vegas may not seem particularly problematic at first, but ignoring them could have dangerous consequences. Learn more about the warning signs of a TMJ disorder – and why they should be heeded.
What are the Signs of a TMJ Disorder?
A TMJ disorder (an issue with the temporomandibular joints attaching the lower jaw to the rest of the head) can happen to anyone, though the risk is higher for women and people who suffer from stress. Common symptoms include:
- Persistent jaw pain, particularly in the morning.
- A clicking, popping, or grinding noise that occurs when you move your jaw.
- Headaches or a generally tight feeling in your face.
- Ear pain or a ringing sound.
- Occasional lockjaw.
You may not notice all of these symptoms, and oftentimes they point to different underlying causes for the disorder. In general, though, any potential warning sign for TMJ disorder should encourage you to seek diagnosis and treatment right away.
What Will Happen if TMJ Disorder is Ignored?
Living with a TMJ disorder can affect your mood, keep you up at night, and cause you to change your eating habits. The consequences will grow even worse as time goes by and the following issues occur:
- Your teeth start to wear down because you are clenching and grinding them at night.
- The pain you experience becomes worse and starts to spread to the rest of your head, neck, and face.
- It becomes harder and harder to move your jaw properly, and it becomes locked more frequently.
- You develop sleep apnea or another breathing-related sleep disorder.
Needless to say, the above consequences will cause the quality of your life to significantly decrease, which is why it is best to avoid them altogether.
How Can TMJ Disorders Be Treated?
The exact approach used to stop TMJ-related pain is going to vary from patient to patient, but many people benefit from oral appliances that realign the jaw and take much of the pressure off the nerves of the joint. Sleep appliances might also be suggested if the condition is also related to a disorder like sleep apnea.
There’s no need to worry about dealing with a TMJ disorder on your own. A dentist in Las Vegas can help diagnose and treat the problems causing your jaw pain. Get in touch with your local practice as soon as you realize you might need help to speak and chew comfortably again!
About the Author
Dr. Pamela West realizes the unique advantages dentists enjoy when it comes to diagnosing and treating issues involving the mouth, which is why she has completed extensive training in TMJ Therapy as well as in treating sleep apnea. She is an expert in using oral appliance therapy or other forms of treatment for relieving jaw-related pain. To schedule an appointment at her practice, iSleep Solutions, visit her website or call (702) 602-2000.
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