Temporomandibular joint disorder occurs when your jaw muscles become irritated or inflamed and cause the joint that connects your jaw bone with your skull to have difficulties moving and adjusting. This joint allows your mouth to yawn, chew, and talk. So, is TMJ dangerous? Besides the uncomfortable pain that it causes, untreated TMJ disorder can suffer increased pain the longer it goes untreated and it can turn into chronic migraines and unbearable tension. It could also cause other issues such as; tooth loss, bone damage, and even malnourishment when you attempt to avoid certain foods in fear of pain – the answer is yes, TMJ is dangerous.
Is There A Treatment?
Depending on severity, there are a multitude of different treatments to help correct any level of TMJ disorder.
Anti-Inflammatories – NSAID’s can be used in mild cases of TMJ disorder in order to reduce the inflammation of the muscles surrounding the joint.
Cold Packs – Commonly used in combination with an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication, cold packs (ice in a bag works just fine, frozen peas, etc.) can also help to reduce the inflammation making it easier and more comfortable to move your jaw in mild cases.
Relaxation Techniques – Learning to relax when you feel your jaw muscles tightening will help to prevent your pain and inability to chew from worsening.
Night Guard – Many times, we grind our teeth or clench our jaw when we have issues with our jaw bones, muscles, and joints – so a night guard can help to prevent these habits from harming or damaging your teeth or worsening the condition of the area around your jaw.
Injections – For moderate cases of TMJ disorder, injections can be given at the painful points in your face that can reduce the amount of pain you feel.
Surgery – For severe cases around your temporomandibular joint, there are surgeries that your dentist can do to reduce the amount of inflamed tissue around your jaw joints, or sometimes they’ll need to realign the bones and joint.