The discomfort and pain of a TMJ headache can be a troubling experience. And, recurring headaches caused by untreated TMJ issues can negatively affect an individual’s overall health. Sleep issues, pain when eating or speaking, and a lack of focus are common side effects of having jaw movement troubles. But, did you know a person’s oral health can suffer from TMJ headaches too?
When TMJ issues persist, a person’s dental and oral health can decline easily. This can lead to tooth decay, costly dental treatments, and health problems in other areas of the body. In this article, we will look at TMJ issues and how individuals with chronic jaw problems can guard themselves against poor oral health.
What is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ)
TMJ disorders are chronic issues affecting joints and muscles in the jaw called temporomandibular joints. These joints and muscles are located on either side of the mouth and make it possible to open and close your mouth. They’re essential for chewing, speaking, and swallowing.
Common TMJ Problems
TMJ refers to several conditions that can affect the temporomandibular joints. While there are many causes and conditions found within the TMJ umbrella, symptoms are generally similar. Symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder can include:
- Neck pain
- Tender jaw and jaw muscles
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing the mouth.
- Jaw pain while eating, drinking or speaking.
- Trouble opening or closing mouth
How Can TMJ Issues Affect Oral Health?
When TMJ problems arise, it affects all aspects of oral health. Depending on the severity of the condition, TMJ can limit a person’s ability to show proper care for their teeth, mouth, and gums. Additionally, it can increase the risk of developing other dental conditions.
A common symptom associated with TMJ is teeth grinding or clenching. Often, teeth clenching and grinding occurs at night while the person is sleeping, unaware of it happening. Teeth grinding can lead to a greater chance for developing tooth decay and tooth loss as the grinding action wears away precious tooth enamel.
Limited Jaw Mobility
Difficulty opening and closing your mouth can cause multiple problems for your mouth and body. Where oral care is concerned, if it’s difficult to open and close your mouth, it will be difficult to brush and floss your teeth properly. Areas of the mouth that cannot be easily reached for cleaning can become susceptible to plaque build-up and tooth decay.
Pressure builds up in your jaw joints and muscles when the mechanisms affecting those parts aren’t functioning correctly. The build-up of stress can often result in the shifting of teeth in the mouth. Shifting teeth can affect the quality of your smile’s appearance as well as your ability to bite comfortably.
Protect Your Oral Health from TMJ Issues
Having problems with your TMJ doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to develop signs of poor oral health. However, it does require taking extra good care of your mouth, teeth, and gums. TMJ opens the possibility of increased risk for enamel loss, plaque build-up, tooth decay, and shifting teeth, so it’s essential to be aware of your oral care.
Visit Your Dentist
Your dentist can help diagnose and treat problems with your jaw muscles, joints, and tendons. Be sure to regularly visit your dentist and let them know if you have concerns about your teeth or jaw. For example, suppose teeth grinding is an issue caused by TMJ. In that case, your dental care professional can help you get fitted for a nightguard.
Use a Sonic Powered Toothbrush
When jaw mobility is reduced or painful, opening wide to clean your teeth may not be the easiest thing to do. Make the process as efficient and effortless as possible with an electric sonic-powered toothbrush. The small brush head makes getting all areas of the mouth more comfortable, and the sonic power does the work of brushing for you!
Toothbrush For Life
Choose the Toothbrush For Life sonic toothbrush for maintaining good oral health when TMJ problems arise. It’s a dentist-recommended product whose five different brushing functions will ensure all areas of your mouth will get the attention they deserve.
Avoid Exacerbating the Condition
When your jaw feels tight, or you have pain around your eyes and neck, avoid doing things that can make the problem worse. Don’t chew gum, suck on candy, or eat hard to chew foods such as tough meat.
Relax Your Jaw Muscles
Employ relaxation techniques designed to relieve tension in your jaw and mouth. Meditation, mindfulness and yoga are great ways to alleviate stress and strain from your jaw naturally. When organic treatments aren’t enough, ask your health care providers if over the counter muscle relaxants or pain medication is right for you.
Protect Your Oral Health with Toothbrush For Life
Protecting your oral health with products and advice from Toothbrush For Life is a great way to ensure you and your family will have a healthy mouth for life. Our sonic powered toothbrush is a perfect addition to your daily healthcare routine. It’s waterproof and can sustain an electric charge for up to three weeks. For regular updates and tips on oral care issues, subscribe to our newsletter!