Many people know about certain very common oral health threats, including cavities and gum disease. However, there are other, lesser known, things that can damage your smile over time. Today our Saint Louis dentists are explaining how TMJ disorder affects oral health.
What is TMJ disorder?
When your temporomandibular joints (the joints that connect your bottom jaw to your skull) become damaged or inflamed, you are dealing with TMJ disorder. Patients who are dealing with this disorder may experience jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, popping and clicking sensations in the jaw, and limited jaw mobility.
How do TMJ problems connect to oral health?
If TMJ issues go untreated, they can lead to dental damage over time.
· TMJ problems can prevent your top and bottom teeth from coming together naturally and comfortably. Over time, this may cause your teeth to wear down unevenly and prematurely. This can leave your smile susceptible to accumulating cracks and chips. Additionally, thinning dental enamel may make your smile look yellower and darker than it did previously.
· If you experience limited jaw mobility due to TMJ problems, it may become difficult to effectively clean your smile. Some TMJ sufferers are not able to open their mouths all the way; thus, these people struggle to effectively floss and brush their back molars. This can lead to cavity development, periodontal disease, and chronic bad breath.
· TMJ disorder is often accompanied by chronic dental grinding and clenching (this is called bruxism). Bruxism puts you at risk of developing cracks and chip in your enamel.
In order to minimize your risk of suffering from these unwanted oral health problems, it is critical that you seek prompt and effective treatment for developing dental decay and infections. Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to give you the further information that you need!