TMJ and Your Teeth

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) serves as the vital connection between your jawbone and skull. This joint allows you to perform essential functions, such as speaking and speaking. Additionally, you need this connection for opening and closing your mouth without discomfort. However, when complications arise within the joint, various issues can arise.

It is crucial to identify symptoms of TMJ disorder before it advances. 

TMJ and Your Teeth

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

There are a variety of different symptoms of TMJ disorder that you can develop over time. If you notice them early, you can seek professional help to prevent the condition from worsening. 

Pain in the Jaw, Face, Neck, and Shoulders

TMJ disorder commonly manifests as dull or sharp pain in the jaw, face, neck, or shoulders. This discomfort may vary in intensity and duration, occurring often. Additionally, individuals with TMJ disorder might experience clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when they move their jaw. Headaches, earaches, and ringing in the ears can also accompany this condition.

TMJ Impact on Oral Health

While some symptoms of TMJ disorder can be mild, they can worsen over time. 

Nutritional Consequences and Social Isolation

When individuals encounter jaw or facial pain due to TMJ disorder, they may naturally avoid activities like chewing and speaking. Unfortunately, this can lead to malnutrition if their food intake becomes compromised. Moreover, they may start to avoid social situations to escape discomfort, resulting in social isolation.

Bruxism and Its Effects on Teeth

TMJ disorder often leads to bruxism, which refers to the habit of grinding or clenching one’s teeth. This condition can cause significant damage to the teeth over time. As teeth grind against each other, the protective enamel wears away. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth sensitivity, cavities, and potential tooth loss.

Misaligned Bite and Uneven Tooth Wear

Another issue with TMJ disorder is a misaligned bite. This occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together correctly upon closing the mouth. This misalignment can result in uneven wear on the teeth. Unfortunately, this can further exacerbate damage and potentially lead to tooth loss.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for TMJ

Luckily, there are several different treatment options that can reduce your TMJ disorder symptoms. 

Seeking Professional Diagnosis

If you suspect TMJ disorder, it is crucial to consult your dentist for an accurate diagnosis. These professionals will assess your symptoms and determine the underlying cause. This will enable them to recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Lifestyle Changes and Stress Reduction Techniques

Common treatments for TMJ disorder often involve lifestyle modifications. These changes might include avoiding hard or chewy foods. Additionally, you can incorporate stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation or yoga. Individuals can alleviate their symptoms and promote healing by reducing stress levels and minimizing strain on the TMJ.

Custom Mouthguards and Splints

Your dentist may suggest using custom mouthguards or splints to protect teeth from the damaging effects of bruxism. These oral appliances provide a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. As a result, this will prevent further enamel erosion and reduce the risk of tooth-related complications.

Surgical Intervention in Severe Cases

In severe cases where other treatments yield limited results, you may need surgical interventions to address the underlying issues with the jaw joint. However, it is important to note that surgery is typically only for extreme cases.


Harry W. McCool, DDS, PC
Lilburn, GA Dentist

645 Beaver Ruin Rd NW, Suite A
Lilburn, GA 30047

New Patients (770) 450-4407

Current Patients (770) 381-9320


Monday - Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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