Know The Truth About These TMJ Disorder Myths

Everyone gets sore muscles from time to time. But when the muscles in your jaw joints (called TMJ) get sore, you could be facing a big problem. If you get a sore back, you can lie down and take it easy. But if you try to do that with your jaw, you won’t be able to talk, chew, or drink.

To make things worse, untreated TMJ pain can blossom into pain throughout your upper body. You could even face problems with chronic migraines or lockjaw.

That’s why you need to call us today at our Collegeville, PA dental office (610-409-6064) or our Williamsport, PA dental office (570-322-4741). Our dentists are trained in many different TMJ treatments so you can get the one that works best for you.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Your jaw is controlled by two joints just below your ears. They’re formally known as your temporomandibular joints, but it’s easier to call them your TMJ. Whenever you move your jaw to laugh, chat, eat, drink, or even yawn, you use these joints.

That’s why TMJ pain can be a sign there are bigger problems ahead for you. When the muscles in your TMJ get overworked and damaged, they don’t have time to rest and heal naturally. This becomes a condition known as TMJ disorder.

It might start out as mild pain or stiffness, but it can soon turn into these problems:

  • Earaches and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Shoulder and upper back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Lockjaw

By calling the LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania today, you can make an appointment for TMJ treatment before that jaw pain gets much worse.

Debunking TMJ Disorder Myths

TMJ disorder isn’t very common, which is probably why there are many myths and misconceptions about it. To set the record straight, here are the truth about TMJ problems.

Myth: TMJ pain will go away once you rest your jaw enough.

Fact: TMJ pain normally gets worse and can spread.

Giving your jaw joints time to rest and heal is actually a great way to treat TMJ disorder. The only problem is that, since this is a disorder, your TMJ have trouble getting that rest. If it was as simple as not chewing or talking for a bit, you wouldn’t have any problems.

For almost all cases, you need TMJ treatment from a dentist trained in such matters. That’s exactly what you’ll get at either of our Pennsylvania dental offices. By using treatments like orthotic appliances or laser biostimulation, you can give your TMJ the help they need to heal.

Myth: TMJ is caused by grinding your teeth.

Fact: Grinding is only one cause; there are others.

Bruxism is the technical term for grinding your teeth unconsciously. When you do this, you’re damaging your teeth. But you’re also putting extra stress on your jaw joints, which can definitely lead to TMJ disorder.

However, that’s only one cause. You can get TMJ disorder from a jaw injury, arthritis, inflammation, and more. So while teeth grinding often leads to TMJ disorder, you can still have this problem without grinding your teeth.

Myth: TMJ treatment requires oral surgery.

Fact: There are many non-surgical treatments for TMJ disorder.

Some people believe that, much like with problems with your knees or elbow, jaw joint problems will require surgery. That definitely is one treatment that can help, but there are others. These include orthotic appliances you wear at night over your teeth that let your TMJ rest.

Other treatments available at our Pennsylvania dental offices include massage therapy, vapor coolant sprays, laser biostimulation, muscle relaxants, and even tooth replacement therapy. There are certainly many different ways for you to get TMJ treatment.

Myth: TMJ disorder only affects your jaw.  

Fact: TMJ disorder can affect your jaw, ears, head, and more.

If something is called “TMJ disorder,” then it only involves your jaw joints, right? Unfortunately, that is a myth. Because your muscles are interconnected, problems with the muscles in your jaw joints can spread pain throughout your upper body. It’s not uncommon for TMJ pain to become pain in the head, neck, ears, shoulders, and upper back. TMJ disorder can also cause strong migraines.

If you’re ready for an alternative approach to your total wellness, trust your oral health to our experts at the LANAP & Implant Center today! Call 610-409-6064 for our Collegeville, PA office or 570-322-4741 for our Williamsport location. You can also fill out our convenient online form to set up an appointment.