TMJ Jaw & Teeth Pain

Dr. Michael Westman TMJ Pain Solutions, TMJ Symptoms

TMJ Jaw & Teeth Pain

You owe a huge dollop of gratitude to your teeth

With anything you use daily, over time there is going to be significant wear and tear. The same principle applies to your teeth. Think about it: you use them repeatedly, day-in and day-out. Practically everything you do requires the use of your teeth.

Each day, your teeth contribute to your ability to talk, breathe, kiss, eat, drink and swallow. You chew with them, bite with them, grind them, brush them, floss them and generally (albeit unconsciously) abuse them.

When you have a misaligned jaw and a subsequent bad bite, the wear and tear on your teeth is significantly more rapid and rigorous. The erosion on your teeth can lead to uneven tooth wear, loss of range of jaw motion, gum recession and various other symptoms – all connected to TMJ.

Clicking – pain – limitations… What’s going on?

  • When you bite down, do you experience pain?
  • Are your restricted in the amount you can open your mouth?
  • When you chew or even flex your face – does it result in popping or clicking?
  • Have friends or family member commented on how loud that pop was?

If you answered yes to even one of those questions, something isn’t right.

A healthy and normal TMJ is quiet when it’s working. During eating, chewing, singing, swallowing, talking and even breathing – you would feel no discomfort or experience anything unusual. The muscles that control your jaw should work in harmony, allowing you to open and close your mouth both smoothly and silently.

If you notice a constant clicking, popping and snapping when you engage in everyday activities, something isn’t right. Clicking, popping and pain are indicators that your jaw joint is unstable.

Pop goes your disc

You have a disc of cartilage inside of your jaw joint which keeps the joint from rubbing together. When the jaw muscles move this disc out of place, the joints end up rubbing together, causing the clicking and popping sound you hear. Sometimes, it is loud enough to be heard by other people.

When your jaw is unaligned and not properly supported, it can be limited in its range of motion. You are at a friend’s dinner party and suddenly you can’t open your mouth wide enough to eat. When you yawn or talk, you feel as though you need to help support your jaw.

If you suffer from TMJ, the ability to open your mouth fully or widely can be limited and painful.

The ‘Muscle / Tooth War’

In this war, 3 things may happen:

  • If your muscles win, you have rapid tooth wear
  • If your teeth win, you will have muscle tension and stress along with headaches and other TMD problems
  • Or worse: you will experience a combination of both

Jaw misalignment and teeth wear greatly influence the appearance of your face. A poorly aligned jaw creates deterioration of your teeth, causing them to look ground down and worn.

The impact can shorten your teeth causing:

  • Changes in the shape of your lips
  • Wrinkles and creases to form and deepen on the sides of your mouth and nose
  • The appearance of jowls on the sides of your jaw

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