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Defining TMJ Disorder for Patients with Chronic Pain

businesswoman with a headachePoor dental health can cause a wide variety of symptoms, from an aching tooth to severe, recurring headaches. The problem with dental-related aches and pains is that they don’t resolve themselves if given time. In fact, some patients can endure chronic discomfort for years without finding relief until learning that a dental issue, like TMJ disorder, is to blame. For instance, Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, has helped many patients find relief from persistent pain by restoring their smiles’ health and function through innovative TMJ treatment. As the joints that move your jaw, TMJs are subject to damage from excessive stress. When in the grips of TMJ disorder, the joints can hinder your mouth’s operation and cause a significant amount of discomfort.

How Your Jaw’s Joints Can Suffer

Your two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located just in front of each ear, and connect your lower jaw, or mandible, to your skull’s temporal bones. The TMJs work in tandem as your mouth opens, closes, and moves around to chew your food. So long as your teeth and jaws are evenly balanced, your TMJs can continue to work smoothly. When your bite is imbalanced, however, the joints can suffer from excessive stress, becoming damaged and inflamed, and possibly forced out of alignment. Crooked teeth, a congenitally asymmetrical jawbone, constant teeth grinding (bruxism), and a host of other issues can place extreme pressure on your jaw joints, leading to the complications of TMJ disorder.

The Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Aside from a sore jaw, TMJ disorder is associated with a number of varying symptoms that can confuse a proper diagnosis. Your jaw’s nerve is a small part of the trigeminal nerve—the largest of your 12 cranial nerve groups. The three-branch nerve innervates the majority of your head, neck, and face. When TMJ disorder disturbs it, the pain can be transferred throughout your cranial structures and manifest as;

  • Chronic, severe headaches, including migraines
  • Earaches, along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sore, fatigued facial and jaw muscles
  • Destructive teeth-grinding

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you believe you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, then visit Dr. Mai as soon as possible for a professional assessment and TMJ treatment, if necessary.

About Dr. Vi Mai:

Dr. Vi Mai and the caring staff at Mai Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are proud of their beautiful, healthy smiles. With years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we can expertly diagnose and treat early dental trouble to preserve your natural tooth structure. If it’s about time for your next teeth cleaning appointment, then call us today at (972) 530-0552.

Dr. Mai and her team provide excellent patient care to prevent dental conditions from developing. We monitor your smile with checkups and regular cleanings incorporating advanced technology.
To treat and transform your smile, we can offer fillings and crowns to restore your smile to optimal health, function, and beauty.
We want to help your smile shine with professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and one-visit bonding and contouring procedures.
Our advanced dental technology allows us to provide you with less-intrusive, more precise care.