Although TMJ disorder’s primary focus is your jaw’s joints, the discomfort can spread throughout a wide area of your craniofacial region, resulting in chronic migraines, earaches, and other symptoms, as well as difficulty with your jaw’s movement. Regardless of the specific area, the discomfort related to TMJ disorder can often be debilitating, and according to research, may create a cycle of negative reactions, disturbed sleep, and increased discomfort. As a dedicated orthodontist in Ft. Worth, Dr. Ciro Cabal has helped many patients find relief from jaw discomfort by correcting problems with occlusion (teeth alignment). Today, we explore TMJ disorder’s powerful impact, and the research that suggests sleep, attitude, and chronic facial pain are related.
Understanding the Nerve of TMJ Disorder
The secret to TMJ disorder’s variety of discomfort lies in the nerve that passes through your jaw, which is only one branch of the trigeminal nerve that innervates the majority of your head, neck, and face. When an imbalanced bite, habitual teeth-grinding, an injury, or a congenital birth defect causes distress in your jaw’s joints (TMJs) and muscles, the strain can disturb your jaw’s nerve, and what starts as jaw discomfort can be transferred to areas along the other branches of your trigeminal nerve.
A Study on Sleep, Attitude, and Chronic Discomfort
Researchers who published a study in the journal, Pain, recruited 214 patients with chronic TMJ discomfort. After thorough examinations to determine the presence of TMJ disorder, each patient was assessed for quality of sleep, depression, level of discomfort, and emotional reaction to their pain. The results indicate that patients who dwelled on their pain, exaggerated it, or had otherwise negative reactions or outlooks about their condition tended to experience diminished sleep frequency and quality. In turn, poor sleep equated to an increased perception of the patients’ chronic jaw discomfort.
Find Relief from Your Jaw Discomfort with Help from Your Ft. Worth Orthodontist
While the study may suggest that positive thinking can help you rest and reduce the severity of your discomfort, finding relief from TMJ disorder requires a professional diagnosis and expert treatment. To learn more, or to seek treatment for your jaw discomfort, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 and schedule a consultation with your Ft. Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76179 area, we proudly serve families from Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Ft. Worth, and all surrounding communities.