What Happens If TMJ Is Left Untreated?

Have you been experiencing pain in your jaw? Are you finding it difficult to open and close your mouth? These problems in the function of your jaw could be a sign of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. At first, your condition may seem relatively minor. However, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.


Temporomandibular joint disorder can be quite painful, but untreated TMJ disorder can be even more painful. Maybe you are yet to seek treatment, or perhaps you do not know what is causing your pain. Whatever the case, living with TMJ pain is not as easy as you might think. Therefore, you should not even try to ignore or live with the pain.


What Is TMJ Disorder?


This is a disorder of the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. Inflammation, irritation, and other problems can compromise your temporomandibular joint. This can cause pain that quickly becomes unbearable due to the joint’s central location, which allows the pain to spread.


TMJ pain can spread beyond the jaw to the teeth, mouth, eyes, ears, neck, head, and shoulders. Furthermore, normal daily activities can aggravate this condition. These include tasks like yawning, talking, and eating.


Consequences of Leaving TMJ Disorder Untreated


If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, you should seek treatment from a specialist as soon as possible. Failure to do so can lead to the following consequences:


Chronic Jaw Pain


When you leave your TMJ disorder untreated, one of the first things you will experience is chronic jaw pain. Unfortunately, the pain will only grow worse the longer you wait to receive treatment. Furthermore, it will transform from occasional jaw pain to constant pain that will affect the quality of your life.


Joint Damage and Inflammation

Think of your TMJ as a broken bone. It is important to put a broken bone in a cast and give it time to heal. Otherwise, the problem will only worsen. Similarly, if your jaw joint has a problem, it needs time to heal.


Leaving your jaw joint untreated can result in even more inflammation and joint damage. To avoid painful and costly treatment down the line, the last thing you want to do is leave your condition untreated.


Recurring Headaches and Migraines


Sometimes, you may wake up with a headache or migraine. But without treatment, these symptoms will get worse. The reason people suffering from TMJ get headaches and migraines is that the joint connects the jaw to the skull. Also, the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint span across the skull and run down the neck and back.


Inflammation in the jaw joint can affect neighboring muscles, which can cause headaches. Left untreated, the inflammation will worsen and lead to more damage. Consequently, over time, your headaches or migraines will become more severe and more frequent. Pain medication will only go so far.


Other consequences of leaving your TMJ disorder untreated include:


  • Airway sleep issues

  • Dental health problems

  • Decreased quality of life

  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse

  • Malnutrition

  • Tinnitus


Do not let this condition become your reality just because you do not want to seek treatment from a dentist. All it takes to start taking back control of your body is a simple dental consultation.


To learn more about TMJ, contact Ofir Orthodontics at our office in Downey, California. You can call (562) 396-9820 today to schedule an appointment.

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