3 Hidden Causes Of TMJ Disorder

Mornings are bad for you. You wake up with a sore jaw, a headache, and feeling irritable. What’s going on? You’ve been so stressed out lately and this isn’t helping. Could you be suffering from TMJ? Dr. DiGiallorenzo and his associates at LANAP and Dental Implant Center – located in Collegeville, PA and Williamsport, PA – know all about TMJ.

TMJ disorder, often simply referred to as “TMJ,” refers to the joints where your upper and lower jaw come together. This joint is close to your ear, which is why when there are issues and the joint becomes misaligned we often see symptoms like earaches, headaches, jaw soreness, and neck pain.

Let’s discuss 3 hidden causes that could be triggering your TMJ or amplifying your symptoms. If you’re in need of TMJ relief, you can call us today to setup a consultation. We treat TMJ differently than most dentists because we take a holistic approach. Reach our Collegeville office at 610-228-4366 or schedule your appointment with Williamsport at 570-505-6908.

  1. Stress

More than half of all patients coping with TMJ reported that stress had been a major issue in their life in the past six months. Some major causes of stress can be:

  • Relationship issues
  • Moving to a new city
  • Beginning a new job or losing a job
  • Other health issues or dealing with the health of a loved one
  • Grief
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Debt

Sometimes talking over your problems with a trusted friend can be enough to help alleviate some of the stress you’re under. You can also seek out professional guidance. Our wellness center offers several services that are deeply relaxing like massage, acupressure, and crainal-sacral therapy. Adding a relaxing treatment to your routine might be just what you need to help you better manage your stress.

TMJ and teeth grinding don’t always occur at the same time, but stress is a known factor for both. If you find yourself grinding your teeth at while you sleep or even during the day, we can fit you with an orthotic appliance. This appliance will protect your teeth from damage that can occur from the additional pressure grinding places on them and will give your jaw a chance to relax at night.

  1. Posture

Alignment is extremely important to your well-being and we realize this more and more as we get older and deal with back, neck, and knee issues. Alignment issues can also trigger your TMJ. Bad posture from sitting all-day at work or leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to pushing your jaw out of place.

To fix your posture, become mindful of how you sit and stand. You should also break up your work day with bursts of physical activity. Core exercises that target your abs and the muscles in your back will also go a long way toward improving your posture. Better posture will also help with back pain, make breathing easier, and make you appear more confident.

  1. Gout

People who aren’t too familiar with gout simply think of it as what happens if you’ve been eating too much meat, but gout is a type of arthritis. If you have arthritis in your hands, knees, or feet that same arthritis could be causing your TMJ too. You jaw joint is just as susceptible to arthritis as any other joint in your body. You can try eating soft foods, self-massage, or a warm compress to try to alleviate your symptoms.

For gout specific treatment your doctor might recommend:

  • corticosteroids shots
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Change in diet
  • Sobriety
  • Increase water consumption

Diagnosing Your TMJ

TMJ can be a difficult and frustrating disorder to diagnose because the symptoms can be so varied or seem unrelated. If you suspect you have TMJ, you should make an appointment with us to have it properly diagnosed. We conduct a comprehensive exam to diagnose your TMJ using:

  • A bite evaluation
  • A neuromuscular evaluation
  • A vapor coolant diagnosis
  • Thermography

Collecting as much information as possible allows us to create a treatment plan that is unique to you and your symptoms. Our wellness center team members are highly trained in their field and they’re also extremely understanding of all you’ve been going through. They are dedicated to helping you find relief from TMJ.

Don’t let daily, chronic pain make you miserable. You don’t have to suffer. Call us today to schedule your appointment and begin your journey toward relief. To visit us in Collegeville call us at 610-409-6064 or schedule your appointment with our Williamsport office by calling 570-322-4741 .