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Don’t Run the Risk: What Can Happen if You Ignore Your Chronic Jaw Pain

September 3, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhughes @ 5:12 pm

a woman holding her jaw in pain

If your jaw is causing you pain and discomfort, you could be experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). For some, the symptoms associated with this type of oral health issue can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years, resulting in increased problems throughout the mouth and body. In the long run, TMD treatment in Ardmore can be the most effective way to save time and money when it comes to protecting your oral and overall well-being. If you think you might have TMD, read on to learn more about the symptoms and risks associated with this condition.

What Are the Symptoms Associated with TMD?

If you’re unfamiliar with TMD, you might have a harder time deciphering the symptoms that can be easily misdiagnosed. It’s always best to have your dentist examine your mouth, jaw, neck, and head to determine if what you’re feeling is, in fact, TMD. But, if you do begin to experience any of the following symptoms, make sure you alert your dentist right away:

  • Severe jaw pain
  • Difficulty chewing or opening your mouth
  • Inability to move your jaw
  • Popping or cracking of the jaw when opening or closing your mouth
  • Chronic headaches
  • Neck and/or back pain
  • Earaches

Even if one or more of these symptoms sound familiar, the only way to receive an official TMD diagnosis is to allow your dentist to use proper equipment and tools to examine your mouth in its entirety. A T-Scan system analyzes your bite and the way your teeth come together. Based on the information collected, your dentist can determine what is causing the problem and begin to craft a personalized treatment plan for TMJ therapy in Ardmore.

What Health Risks Come from Untreated TMD?

Apart from the constant pain felt in your jaw and head, you’ll begin to notice other problems developing if you don’t have your TMD professionally treated, including:

  • Joint damage
  • Increased inflammation
  • Excessive wear and tear on your teeth and enamel
  • Sleep apnea
  • Ringing of the ears

Should you develop a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, this can be extremely harmful, resulting in high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even death. If TMD progresses to a point that the lower jaw is pushed back, this can be problematic in allowing for adequate air to travel to your lungs while asleep.

Fortunately, there are various solutions available to treat TMD, one of which includes an occlusal splint that is to be worn while you sleep. This oral appliance is a small device that prevents clenching of the jaw or shifting of the teeth.

If you believe TMD is what is causing your extreme discomfort, don’t wait to seek treatment. The longer you wait, the more difficult your symptoms will become, and the greater the risk of developing a serious health condition.

About the Authors
Dr. Robert Hughes earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree before entering the United States Air Force and practicing dentistry as a Captain. Dr. Hughes completed his time in the military, and in 1969, began providing dental care to the residents of Ardmore and its surrounding communities. Whether it is preventive care or treatment for problems such as TMD, Dr. Hughes will always provide the same level of care for you as he would his own family. He and his team can help you become free from chronic jaw pain, implementing methods to stop the pain and solve the problem behind TMD. To learn more about TMD treatment, visit our website or call (580) 223-3838.

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