TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, afflicts millions of people. Sadly, many of those individuals choose not to seek treatment. They decide to “tough it out” and hope that the situation improves on its own. That is unwise. Why is TMD treatment so important? In short, because letting this condition go unaddressed can lead to some serious long-term consequences. Here are a few examples of what might happen if you do not receive professional care:
Headaches and Migraines
TMD places stress on the muscles of your face and neck, which can lead to frequent headaches. If you are prone to migraines, TMD might even trigger your attacks. Headaches and migraines can prevent you from being your usual productive and happy self.
Poor Quality Sleep
Sleep is one of the pillars of good health. In fact, long-term sleep problems are associated with a heightened risk of heart attack, stroke, emotional and behavioral disorders, dementia, and early death.
Unfortunately, TMD can adversely affect your ability to get an adequate amount of high-quality rest. Not only might jaw pain keep you awake at night, but you may also have a misaligned bite. A misaligned bite may be affecting your airway, which can lead to disordered breathing during sleep.
TMD is strongly correlated with bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). Bruxism can cause premature wear and tear on the tooth enamel, which can lead to extreme dental sensitivity. You might even develop cracks in your enamel that might necessitate root canal therapy or the placement of protective crowns.
Many people with TMD tend to avoid hard and tough foods because such items can be uncomfortable to chew. Over time, this may mean that you develop deficiencies of some vitamins and minerals that are normally found in foods that you tend to avoid, such as raw fruits and vegetables.
Because of changes in the way you chew, you might develop uneven muscle tone on the sides of your face, which can cause you to have an asymmetrical appearance. TMD is also frequently accompanied by a misaligned bite and forward head posture, both of which can adversely affect your appearance.
Relief Is Within Your Reach!
Without a doubt, untreated TMD can wreak havoc on your health and daily quality of life. Fortunately, a number of different therapies are available that may be able to help you find relief. A qualified dentist or oral surgeon can evaluate your oral structures and recommend your next steps. Hopefully, it will not be long before your entire smile is back in working order.
Meet the Practice
Drs. Steve Koo and William Shepard of Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery are proud to provide effective TMJ treatment for the Katy community. If you are experiencing persistent jaw pain or other related symptoms, our team would be pleased to help you find long-lasting relief. Get in touch with our office at 832-353-1100.