Do you suffer from jaw pain or chronic headaches?
If you do, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience these symptoms because of a condition called TMJ disorder, or TMD for short – temporomandibular disorder.
Today, you’ll learn more about this condition, why it causes pain, and how it can impact your overall health – including your posture.
What Causes Jaw Misalignment and How Does This Lead to Jaw Pain?
Jaw misalignment causes jaw pain because of the strain that’s placed upon the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments of the head. When all of these tissues are in proper alignment, the jaw functions at full capacity and without pain.
The strain, though, can lead to headaches, migraines, and tooth pain. It can even lead to cracked or broken teeth.
What causes misalignment and TMJ disorder? There are a number of causes, including:
- Missing teeth
- Gaps in the teeth
- Enamel wear
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Anatomical dysfunction of the jaw, including overbite, underbite, and crossbite, due to improper jaw development. Jaw development is altered when there is an airway problem and/or improper tongue function early in life.
It’s important to note that TMJ disorder will eventually lead to problems with your overall health. In addition to all of the dental problems TMD patients face, they can also end up with:
- Sleep apnea (which can cause many medical problems)
- Bad digestion
- Making poor nutritional decisions (because no one wants to eat crunchy carrots when you have jaw pain or sore teeth)
- Instability and poor posture.
How a Misalignment of the Jaw Can Affect Your Overall Health – Even Your Posture
Is the idea that the misalignment of your jaw can lead to poor posture a new one for you? You’re not alone. Many people don’t realize just how impactful TMJ disorder and jaw pain can be on the rest of the body.
It’s amazing just how intricately connected the entire body really is, which is why a dentist West Kelowna, Dr. Shauna Palmer will encourage you to get treatment for TMD. It’s not just about fixing the teeth – it’s about fixing the body. And science backs this up.
Researchers at the University of Barcelona, Spain and the University of Innsbruck, Austria, found a correlation between dental malocclusion and posture in separate 2016 studies.
The data from these studies showed that when one part of the body is out of alignment, others will be as well. So, patients with TMJ disorder are more likely to experience muscle fatigue, loss of balance, and pain throughout their body.
How does a loss of balance fit into this scenario? It’s due to the vestibular nerves related to balance and control, as well as the trigeminal nerve, which is the main nerve involved in mastication.
The muscles of the neck also play a role, and when there is strain and tightness, which is common in TMD patients, these nerves are activated. The result is jaw pain, as well as pain throughout the head, neck, and shoulders, as well as loss of balance and stability.
Thankfully, a dentist in West Kelowna can help. Through the implementation of certain dental procedures that put the jaw in a healthy, neutral position, you will experience:
- Less pain throughout the body
- Improved posture due to better alignment and less pain
- Fewer headaches
- Less fatigue
- Fewer injuries, like sprains, strains, and fractures (due to balance improvement)
- Better athletic performance.
Though jaw issues might not seem significant at first, research is continuing to show how closely linked the jaw is with the rest of the body. Therefore, when you get treatment from a West Kelowna dentist, you can rest assured that you’ll be taking steps to improve your overall health, not just your dental health.
Improve Your Posture by Improving Your Bite – How Health & Beauty Dentistry Can Help
Isn’t it amazing to know that by tackling the cause of your jaw pain you can address multiple health issues?
This is why it’s so important to have any jaw, head, or facial pain treated as soon as possible. Fortunately, your West Kelowna dentist can help.
With a series of neuromuscular/physiologic tests, including sonography, electromyography, jaw tracking, 3-D imaging, and a comprehensive exam, your dentist can come up with a definitive diagnosis. Once that has been done, you’ll receive a treatment plan that can include physiologic orthotic therapy, physiologic orthodontia, bite adjustments, physiologic restorations or a combination of treatments.
With some time, you’ll notice you have less pain and tension throughout your entire body. When everything is in proper alignment, you’ll have better posture, less pain, and more energy, all of which will allow you to live a full, happy, and healthy life.