Factors That Put You at Risk of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 8 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders yearly. Furthermore, more than 24% of the American population experience symptoms of TMJ disorders. TLN Family Dental offers professional diagnosis and various treatment services if you have a temporomandibular joint condition.

Specialist diagnosis of the pain and discomfort emanating from your temporomandibular joint can help your health provider formulate the right treatment plan.

The right treatment plan depends on the cause of the TMJ condition. It can help alleviate tenderness and stiffness of the temporomandibular joint and facial pain. Unearthing the specific cause of TMJ disorder can also enable the application of the correct prevention strategies.

Below are common factors that can put you at risk of a TMJ disorder.

Bruxism

According to the Sleep Foundation, bruxism, also called teeth grinding or clenching, is a condition that affects almost 40 million Americans.  You can excessively clench your jaw or grind your teeth when sleeping or wide awake without noticing.

Jaw clenching or teeth grinding puts intense pressure on the masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joint. As a result, you can have TMJ disorder.

Jaw arthritis

If you have arthritis, one or several joints are inflamed, tender, stiff, and painful. Joint inflammation can also affect the joints of your jaw. The jaw joints connect the skull’s temporal bones and the lower jawbone to allow yawning, chewing, swallowing, and talking.

Arthritis of the temporomandibular joint may be due to different types of joint inflammation, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis of the jaw occurs when the natural mechanism that defends your body attacks and injures healthy tissues of the jaw.

On the other hand, osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint occurs due to the degeneration of the jaw joints and their cartilage.

Persistent clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth can expose jaw joints and cartilage to traumatic stress. That eventually causes pain and discomfort.

Long-lasting stress

If you are stressed and anxious, there is a high chance of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth frequently. That pressurizes your jaw joints, leading to dental problems such as cracked teeth and TMJ disorders. TMJ disorders come with debilitating discomfort and pain in the jaws.

The best way to reduce stress levels and relieve TMJ symptoms is by frequently limiting caffeine intake and engaging in physical activities and exercises. Additionally, avoid responsibilities that overwhelm you and laugh regularly. For instance, laughing and smiling increase your body’s production and release of hormones that increase your happiness and reduce stress.

While caffeine intake can boost your energy levels, consuming excess can increase anxiety. Also, avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee before you sleep. They are stimulants that can cause sleep interruption, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding.

Poor posture

Constantly sitting, resting, sleeping, or standing poorly for an extended period can strain your neck and jaw muscles and joints. Straining the neck and jaw muscles and joints can trigger TMJ disorder.

Always ensure your posture promotes optimal physical health to safeguard you against various problems, including jaw inflammation and pain.