What Happens If TMJ Goes Untreated?

If you’ve been experiencing frequent headaches, aching facial pain, and/or popping in your jaw, then you might be one of the tens of millions of Americans suffering from a TMJ disorder. It’s possible and important to test for and treat TMJ issues at a clinic like Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. We have many locations throughout the U.S. so we can help more Americans like you with their pain and sleep quality. Read on to learn about what happens if TMJ goes untreated, and just how important it is to come see us for help.

What Happens If TMJ Goes Untreated?

What can cause TMJ disorder?

It can be difficult for a professional to determine the direct cause of a TMJ disorder, but there could be an underlying condition or prior trauma involved. Some examples of these include whiplash, a blow to the jaw or cheek, teeth grinding, teeth clenching, tooth loss, teeth misalignment, dislocation or misalignment of the jaw joint, excessive gum chewing, nail biting, or arthritis in the TMJ. If you have or have had any of these issues and you’re still experiencing some symptoms today, then you might benefit from TMJ testing and treatment. If you don’t address the issue, it could worsen, and so could your pain and other symptoms.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

When the TMJ isn’t functioning properly for any reason, this is a TMJ disorder, and a patient can experience symptoms like jaw pain, a popping/clicking jaw, pain behind the eyes, pain in the ears, ringing in the ears, ear congestion, facial pain, frequent headaches, temperature-sensitive teeth, difficulty swallowing, or other issues. If some of these issues go untreated, they can worsen and become chronic.

So what happens if TMJ goes untreated?

The condition causing the TMJ disorder, as well the pain and other symptoms, could become much worse if the issue isn’t treated properly. Some of the problems could even lead to joint inflammation and damage or the wearing down of your teeth. It’s even possible for a person to develop an airway sleep disorder like sleep apnea. A condition like sleep apnea can be quite serious because it can eventually lead to life-threatening conditions like heart disease. It really is important to treat a TMJ disorder before it leads to greater complications.

Can you test for TMJ disorder? Can you treat TMJ disorder?

Yes, and there are different methods for testing and treatment. A professional will perform an examination of the patient’s jaw and, if necessary, suggest further testing with 3-dimensional imaging. For treatment, digital modelling and electrical stimulation can help. The most effective treatment for TMJ disorder and your particular case of it could easily be oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliance therapy is easy for patients because it uses a simple, convenient, and comfortable oral appliance. Patients wear this oral insert at night, and this helps to prevent the conditions that cause TMJ disorder in the first place. And by preventing these issues from occurring, oral appliance therapy can prevent sleep apnea as well. In fact, after about 3 months, many patients will be 90% symptom-free. Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and we recommend it and provide it here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.

To learn more about oral appliance therapy or to have a consultation with us, get in touch with our clinic today. We have locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, so we ask that you see our Locations page for these locations’ addresses and contact information. Alternatively, you can contact us at (855) 977-0400, and we’ll help you find the location nearest you. Call us today to learn everything else we can tell you about treating TMJ disorder here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders!