Many people believe that TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, only affects the jaw. However, having TMD means more than just harming your teeth, as it represents an imbalance that affects the entire body. While the origins of TMD remain unclear, its symptoms often show many possible sources, including jaw misalignment, jaw injury, genetics, and even neurological disorders. This musculoskeletal disease represents a misalignment in the whole body, and as a chronic condition, it needs to be managed to help prevent future issues from occurring.
TMD pain can be a challenging condition to treat, as jaw misalignments can be the result of multiple pathologies. From traumatic accidents to bad posture, TMD can destabilize the muscles throughout the jawbone and lead to muscle tensions throughout the neck, shoulders, and back. These sources of tension can contribute to various other problems over time, including nerve pain, arthritis, and degenerative diseases. As your body attempts to compensate for these changes and restore stability back to your body, other issues can happen as a result.
All of these issues stem from the stomatognathic system, the area of our body that includes our teeth, jawbones, and masticatory muscles. This process makes up the upper portion of the musculoskeletal system and aids us in supporting movement throughout our bodies. When every part of our body is aligned, our muscles are able to perform better and keep our bodies healthy, but when misalignments occur, our bodies are unable to perform their functions and can cause discomforting symptoms, including:
- Pain throughout the neck, shoulder, back, or behind the eyes.
- Ringing in the ear or earaches not caused by infection
- Jaw soreness or discomfort
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Impaired mouth mobility
- Teeth grinding/clenching
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Tingling/Numbness throughout the fingers
- Improper connection of the lower and upper jawline
All of these symptoms can be especially harmful to your oral health. Because the jawline is one of the most complex areas of our mouths, it can create an extensive range of symptoms that, while seemingly unrelated, can harm your body’s musculoskeletal system. When it comes to your oral health, it can cause issues with brushing and flossing, create vulnerabilities in the tooth’s enamel, and can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease over time if not treated.
Treatment options for TMD highly depend on the underlying causes related to your condition. Your mouth’s range of motion, pain sites around the jawline, and dental diagnosis testing will be used to help direct and plan out your treatments. Your treatment for your TMD will be personalized based on your medical history, and at Elite Dental Group, our team of dentists is here to help provide long-term treatment plans and effective means for managing TMD pain. Through our expertise in a variety of dental fields, we can work with you to develop an integrated care plan that stabilizes your jawbone and help relieve your dental pain. For more information about our services, contact Elite Dental Group in Poughkeepsie, NY, today.