Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can manifest in pain in the muscles and joints on the side of your face that help you open and close your mouth. These joints, often referred to as TMJs, act as hinges to help your mouth open and close. Every moment that you talk, yawn, or chew, your jaw joints and muscles are hard at work. While it is reasonable to assume that the full-blown condition of chronic pain and inflammation in these joints (TMD) will stay isolated to the jaw, this may not end up being true. Your TMJs and the muscles surrounding them are so interconnected with other parts of your body, there is a high likelihood that seemingly unrelated aches and pains can result from TMD. Dr. Ciro Cabal, your Fort Worth orthodontist, will explain.
Earache, or TMD?
If you have an earache, the natural assumption will be an ear infection. You may be surprised to know that nearly half of TMD patients actually complain of earaches as a perplexing symptom. The location of this discomfort will usually be in front of, or just below your ear. With nerve endings so close to each other, it’s easy to confuse this pain and think you have a classic earache. If you have a lot of ear pain and you have been checked by your general physician with no signs of infection, consider visiting your Lake Worth orthodontist to see if some type of misalignment or TMJ issue is causing your suffering.
TMD Shooting Down to the Neck and Shoulders
Neck and shoulder pain will usually be blamed on stress, sleeping wrong, or a pulled muscle. Usually these aches and pains come and go on their own. However, if you find that pain like this is recurring, or never ends, you could consider that your TMJs might be the source. Your jaw muscles run from one ear to the other. This means they collide and interact with your neck muscles. Your shoulders and upper back are right in that same area. Pain sensations can extend and cause you aches and pains that you wouldn’t necessarily assume could start with your jaw tension.
Fort Worth Orthodontist Can Offer TMJ Relief
In many cases, treating the conditions behind your TMJ discomfort is the only way to find relief. For instance, if your jaws are overstressed due to malocclusion, then orthodontic treatment may be necessary to realign your bite for optimal function. To learn more, or find out if orthodontic treatment can help relieve your jaw pain, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 and schedule a consultation with your Fort Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76179 area, we proudly serve families from Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and all surrounding communities.