Restorative Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ: The Dangers of Untreated TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder highly treatable with restorative dentistry in Scottsdale. Learning more about this disorder can help you seek treatment when needed.
TMJ is shorthand for the temporomandibular joint, the joint which connects your jaw to your skull. This joint can become inflamed, resulting in TMJ disorder. Individuals who suffer from this disorder know how excruciatingly painful the condition can be, and that the pain can quickly spread beyond the joint itself to the ears, eyes, neck and shoulders. What many don’t know, however, is that left untreated, TMJ syndrome can lead to much more serious problems, including the following:
- Self-medication and the danger of addiction: the often crippling pain associated with TMJ disorder leads some sufferers to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. This can quickly get out of control as more and more medication is required to control the pain. Sufferers of TMJ disorder have been known to drift into drug abuse and alcoholism.
- Psychological disorders: one of the symptoms of the disorder is excessive grinding of the teeth. This can lead to sleep disorders, such as insomnia. The constant pain associated with TMJ syndrome can also cause depression, which ranges from mild to severe. In addition, because chewing is so painful, some individuals change their eating habits, which can cause malnutrition and eating disorders.
- More serious dental problems: an unaligned jaw causes some sufferers to favor one side of their mouth when they chew or grind their teeth. This can cause excessive wearing down of the teeth involved and more serious dental problems. Using one side of the jaw more than the other can also lead to facial swelling on the side which is favored which, left untreated, can cause permanent disfigurement.
- Hearing problems: pain in the ears can evolve into a ringing sensation, the development of tinnitus and, in more severe cases, permanent hearing damage. The condition can also compromise the inner ear, which can cause problems with balance and dizziness.
- Problems with the jaw: if the condition is untreated for a protracted period of time, the jaw can become stuck in an open position, a circumstance which requires emergency treatment to force it closed. The jaw can also become dislocated.
Needless to say, these conditions related to untreated TMJ disorder are serious. It’s important to know if you might suffer from this condition at the earliest possible time and to begin treatment with restorative dentistry in Scottsdale. Some of the symptoms to look for include pain associated with chewing, a clicking sound when opening or closing your mouth, earaches and headaches (particularly migraines), sudden hearing loss, ringing in the ears and unexplained pain in the face, neck and shoulders.
The good news if you have TMJ disorder is that it can be relatively easily treated in its early stages using restorative dentistry in Scottsdale. If you have these symptoms, you need to be diagnosed and treated by a Scottsdale, Arizona dentist who specializes in TMJ treatment. You can do so by seeing Dr. Steven Poulos or Dr. Sid Stevens of My Scottsdale Dentist. For more information, contact us today.