Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD) occurs when problems with the joint, muscles and surrounding facial tissues begin to affect jaw movement. Common symptoms include jaw pain, soreness, teeth grinding and headaches. The severity of these symptoms varies, however they all can have far-reaching effects. In this blog post, Dr. Ivan Stein of the Headache & TMJ Center discusses some of the ways TMJ disorder can affect your everyday life.
Tossing and turning at night or constantly waking up in pain can cause you to lose out on a good night’s rest. Even opening your mouth wide to yawn can be painful. Numerous studies have found lack of sleep negatively impacts your health and life. Going without sleep affects your productivity at work and school, as well as your memory and ability to stay focused on tasks. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to weight gain and depression.
Eating Becomes Painful
Many of us take the simple action of chewing for granted. However, eating and chewing can be an ordeal if you live with TMJ disorder. The repetitive jaw movement can worsen TMJ symptoms, including the soreness and headaches. As a result, people with TMJ disorder may stop eating normally or avoid eating altogether. This can lead to unintentional weight loss, nutritional deficiencies and a slew of health problems.
Withdrawal from Regular Activities
Have you ever rejected a friend’s lunch invitation in order to avoid eating in pain? Do you avoid large group settings because you’re embarrassed about your misaligned jaw? Living in constant pain due to TMJ disorder affects your willingness to interact with others. Additionally, it’s common for patients with TMJ to become cranky or experience mood swings due to the stress of having to deal with the physical discomfort caused by TMJ pain.
How to Alleviate TMJ Pain
TMD pain can be bothersome and painful, but fortunately it can be treated. Simple methods like cutting your food into smaller, manageable bites can alleviate jaw pain while a mouth guard can help you get a good night’s rest. Dr. Stein offers several treatment options for TMJ disorder. The trusted TMJ specialist uses the most up-to-date diagnostic technology and evaluation techniques to determine the best treatment plan for you. To learn more about TMJ disorder or to find out about the treatment options Dr. Stein offers, please call (855) TMJ-DOCS or (855) 865-3627 today.