TMJ, also referred to as TMD, stands for “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder,” and millions of people have it. The symptoms of TMJ are numerous and affect many different parts of the body. Since TMJ is often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for many years, many people with TMJ never seek TMJ treatment in Burkburnett, Texas. There are health risks of untreated TMJ, so the goal is always to get an evaluation by a TMJ dentist who can assess the severity of your TMJ and suggest a TMJ treatment plan that will work for you.

mature adult woman holding her back in pain

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a complex condition that affects the joints on either side of the face that connect to the jawbone. These vital joints are unique in that they move in a number of ways: up and down, open and close, and side to side. No other joints in the body move in a similar fashion to your Temporomandibular Joints. People with TMJ have a problem with one or both of their joints. The problem causes their jaw to be misaligned, meaning it does not rest comfortably when the mouth is closed. It does not line up properly and causes a misaligned bite called “malocclusion.”

When something goes awry with these joints, the result is often a painful array of symptoms that may affect various parts of the body, including:

  • Teeth
  • Head/face/jaw
  • Neck
  • Back

TMJ Tooth Pain

Many people with TMJ have tooth pain due to bruxism (nighttime grinding and teeth clenching). Bruxism wears down the teeth and causes pain in the tooth and jaw. The good news is that TMJ treatment allows the jaw to rest naturally in its optimal position, eliminating the teeth grinding and clenching that causes tooth and jaw pain. 

Tooth pain can be one of those symptoms of TMJ that, when left untreated, can cause serious problems. You may need to have teeth pulled, or you may need to have some restorative dentistry. TMJ treatments can correct the problem of worn teeth due to a misaligned bite.

You may be fitted with an oral appliance to keep the jaw positioned correctly, or you may benefit from Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS), which is a TMJ treatment in which electrodes are placed on the trigger points and tiny pulses of electricity alleviate the tension in those areas. The joints and muscles will then relax, decreasing your pain and tightness.

Head/Face/Jaw TMJ Pain

Many untreated symptoms of TMJ are felt in the head, face, and jaw. You may experience the following:

  • Frequent headaches that feel like migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Jaw tightness
  • Jaw clicking and popping while you eat, yawn, or talk
  • Ear pain
  • Fullness in the ears
  • Ringing in the ears, known as “tinnitus”

Many people who experience TMJ headaches seek medical professionals who may not look to the jaw for the source of the pain. After years of suffering and taking all different types of pain medication, a TMJ dentist in Burkburnett, Texas, will spot the signs of TMJ and provide TMJ treatment (that works) right away.

Neck and Back Pain Related to TMJ

You may be surprised to learn that untreated TMJ symptoms can lead to serious neck and upper back problems. Many people with untreated TMJ report feelings of a stiff neck as if they slept in a weird position. Other people report back pain in the thoracic or cervical regions of the back (mid-back and neck area, respectively). Some people with TMJ even report back pain in their lumbar area, which is the lowest part of the spine close to the tailbone and buttocks.

Get Help for Untreated TMJ Symptoms in Burkburnett, Texas Today

Dr. Kyle Clark at Burkburnett Family Dental has been treating people with TMJ for many years. Using the most advanced dental technology available today, our dentists will perform a thorough evaluation to assess the position of your jaw and joints and work up a treatment plan to place your jaw in its optimal position. By doing this, your symptoms of TMJ should improve in no time at all. 

Please call Burkburnett Family Dental (940) 569-4901, or fill out our online contact form right here on the website. One of your amazing TMJ dental team members will reach out to answer questions or schedule a new patient appointment.