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How TMJ Pain Can Affect Your Everyday Life

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Millions of women and men suffer from jaw pain or headaches related to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints are located on either side of the head, near the ears, and give individuals the ability to open and close their mouths when chewing or speaking. If there is an issue with the TMJ, it can result in an uncomfortable and painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). At Kodish-Perez Dental Group, Dr. Gary Kodish and Dr. Federico Perez help Fort Lauderdale, FL patients learn more about TMD, and offer TMJ therapy and other treatment options to ease their pain and comfort.

What are the symptoms of TMJ joint pain?

Pain and discomfort in the jaw can happen when eating something chewy or tough. However, when jaw pain persists and is constant, it may indicate something more serious. While TMJ symptoms vary from person to person, patients in Fort Lauderdale, FL, may report a popping or clicking sound, grinding noises, or abnormalities in their bite. Other symptoms can be:

  • Difficulty closing or opening the mouth
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Tooth sensitivity or toothaches
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Jaw pain, muscle soreness, and facial pain
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears

What are the long-term effects of TMJ joint pain?

If you experience discomfort, clicking, or pain in your jaw, it may indicate a temporomandibular joint disorder. Millions of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, yet only a fraction of the people get treatment for symptoms. While this condition can be manageable at the onset, if left untreated, it can become more intense with chronic pain and discomfort, affecting a person's quality of life.

1. Weight loss

With the onset of TMJ disorder, the jaw area is mainly affected. Repetitive jaw movements can worsen TMJ symptoms. As a result, people may avoid eating, which can lead to weight loss, vitamin deficiencies, and other health problems.

2. Migraine headaches

TMJ symptoms are often linked to severe headaches or migraines because the joint connecting the jaw to the skull becomes unaligned. The muscles in the jaw, neck, and face can become fatigued to compensate for TMJ pain and inflammation. Muscle fatigue can even migrate to the shoulders, upper back, hips, and more.

3. Hearing loss

Inflammation from the temporomandibular joints can move to the ear area. The long-term effect of TMJ joint pain can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and possibly hearing loss.

4. Sleep deprivation

Tossing and turning at night with constant TMJ pain can lead to sleep deprivation. Studies have shown a lack of sleep can negatively impact a person's overall health, even linked to depression and weight gain.

How to relieve TMJ pain

TMJ disorder can be painful and bothersome but is treatable. Patients can consider a mouth guard to wear at night, cutting food into smaller bites, and getting TMJ therapy at Kodish-Perez Dental Group. Drs. Kodish and Perez offer several treatment options for TMJ joint pain. To learn more about TMJ disorder, or if you are concerned you may have this condition, contact Kodish-Perez Dental Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.