If you pop your knuckles, it might not hurt much (although the habit can have uncomfortable consequences later in life, like arthritis). If your jaw pops, however, it can be more than just uncomfortable – it can also be a warning sign of TMJ disorder, a dysfunction that affects your jaw’s joints.
The most important thing to know about TMJ disorder is that only your dentist can help you find lasting relief, and you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you suspect that you might have the condition.
- TMJ disorder isn’t just one condition, but could potentially describe any of a large number of conditions that affect your jaw’s temporomandibular joints (TMJs). Common conditions can include arthritis in one or both joints, a perforated or dislocated joint disk, damage and inflammation to the joints, or issues with the muscles that control the joints’ movements.
- Stress is a common reason for TMJ disorder, as it can cause chronic tension in your jaw muscles and joints. However, there are many dental-related conditions that can also contribute to its development, including crooked teeth, habitual teeth-grinding (bruxism), missing teeth that throw your bite off-balance, and more.
- The difficulty with TMJ disorder is that its symptoms can vary, often extending beyond your jaw and mouth. The nerves that damaged TMJs can disturb can lead to a host of discomforts, including chronic migraines, pain and soreness in your neck, shoulder, and back muscles, pain and ringing in your ears, and more.
- To treat TMJ disorder and alleviate its symptoms, you may need a professional diagnosis and treatment plan developed by your dentist. If you experience any of the common symptoms of TMJ disorder, or if you have difficulty biting and chewing comfortably, then schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
ABOUT YOUR ASTORIA, NY, DENTIST:
Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, a native New Yorker, has welcomed patients and families from in and around Astoria, NY(including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all surrounding communities) since opening his dental practice in 1991. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibowitz, call our office in Astoria today at 718-728-8320.