Can TMJ Cause Other Health Problems?
TMJ can affect the whole body, but treatment options are available. Talk to our team of healthcare providers today at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders about TMJ. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
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The body is made up of many complex intertwined systems that work together in many ways that may not make sense to affect each other. With that in mind, a condition such as a TMJ disorder can absolutely have an effect on other parts of your body, even if it doesn’t seem like it should do to the location of the jaw in relation to the rest of the body. The misalignment of the jaw can cause pain not just in the temporomandibular joint itself, but also in the face and neck which can radiate down to the shoulders. So, while a misalignment in the jaw may seem like the pain and impact should be centralized to the jaw and face, it can cause pain in other parts of the body as we overcompensate our movements for the pain. We may also alter our movements for day-to-day tasks without be consciously aware we are doing it. This can include simple, unconscious movements such as how we sit, lay down, turn our head or move our body where we may change how we do it to compensate for an increase in pain sensations as a result of any of these movements. TMJ disorders can also put pressure on the nerves that can cause tingling or numbness of the face or parts of the upper body.
Long-term effects of a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, can be the result of the condition itself or as a result of ongoing treatment for a chronic condition without medical intervention. While many cases of TMD can resolve themselves on their own, other times they require some form of medical attention, either from a dentist or doctor experienced in treating TMJ disorders. Not only can an undiagnosed and untreated TMJ disorder cause chronic pain in the jaw and face, it can also cause migraine headaches that is debilitating and can impact your overall quality of life. The pain can also radiate down to other parts of your body such as the neck, shoulders, and back by spreading through the vertebrae and causing discomfort in other joints as they experience alignment issues. The jaw is connected to the skull in close proximity to the ear canal, meaning that inflamed jaw muscles can have an impact on the ear canal. It can cause pain that often gets misinterpreted as an ear infection, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss in extreme cases. Treating the pain of TMD can be done through the use of painkillers, either over the counter or as prescribed by a doctor, however prolonged use of these can lead to additional complications. Increased tolerance for the medication and decreased effectiveness from prolonged use can lead to damage of the internal organs, as well as seeking alternative options to find pain relief that can lead to dependency and addiction to stronger, more dangerous substances.
TMJ disorders can cause many problems throughout the body, not just in the jaw and as a result of pain in the joint. TMJ disorders, known as TMD, can of course cause problems with eating as the jaw may not be able to properly open and close, or the motion of eating causes pain in the jaw or in the teeth themselves. TMD can also cause pain in the form of migraines, severe headaches, earaches, facial pain, neck pain, and in chronic, advanced cases, pain, discomfort, and misalignment in other parts of the upper body such as the shoulders and back. Problems can also come as a result of treating TMD symptoms through the use of painkillers or other substances that can cause damage to internal organs when taken for prolonged periods of time or in amounts over the recommended dosage. Neurological issues can also stem from pressure put on the nerves as a result of tight and strained muscles. If you have TMJ issues or have questions, reach out to our team of leading healthcare professionals today at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders to book an appointment.