man sitting at desk holding jaw in pain

The Long-term Effects of Untreated TMJ

Team Uncategorized

TMJ disorder is painful, there’s no doubt about that. But what could be even more painful, is TMJ pain that goes untreated.

Maybe you don’t think your TMJ pain is that severe or you have yet to find the help you need. Or perhaps you don’t even realize that TMJ disorder is causing your pain.

Whatever the case may be, you might think it’s easy to keep living with the pain, but you shouldn’t.

Not only does that lessen your quality of life now, but it also puts your future at risk too.

Here are a few of the long-term effects of untreated TMJ:

Chronic Jaw Pain

If you do not seek treatment, your TMJ symptoms may worsen–this includes your jaw pain. Chronic refers to a long-developing symptom or syndrome. When you do not deal with your jaw pain, it can turn from being occasional to being constant for a long-while.

This is because acute or more short-term pain is signaling to your body that something is not right. When that signal is not acknowledged and acted upon (i.e. not treating the pain), it can lead to constant pain signals which leads to chronic pain.

Joint Damage and Inflammation

Think of it like a broken bone. If you don’t put a cast on to properly heal a broken bone, there is going to be more damage to that bone. It’s the same thing with your TMJ. If you don’t seek proper treatment for your TMJ pain, there is going to be damage in the joint(s) that you had issues.

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to heal an injury. So, if your body is not healing pain (such as from TMJ disorder), your body will respond with continued inflammation until it’s healed.

Recurring Headaches

Another symptom that can worsen from untreated TMJ pain is headaches. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull, and all the muscles surrounding the skull, which is the reason that issues in this joint causes headaches.

If the source of the problem isn’t treated, that’s when recurring symptoms of the pain–such as headaches–will continue to cause you issues.

Development of An Airway Sleep Disorder

TMJ disorder is often caused by misaligned bites, which compromise the quality of your sleep. Because your jaw isn’t sitting in its proper place, it’s infringing on your airway. As a result, less oxygen is getting through to your brain.

All of this, over time, can lead to the development of an airway sleep disorder. This disorder, and consequently, lack of sleep, can also lead to other symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, sleep apnea, and brain fog.

Effects on Life

All of these symptoms place a hindrance on your lifestyle and the way that you live every single day. Untreated TMJ pain not only affects your sleep and the amount of oxygen you breathe at night, but also your mood, eating habits, and even the way you sit and walk.

While TMJ is not a life-threatening disorder, if left untreated, its symptoms can negatively affect your quality of life over time.

If you’re ready for a solution that is as unique as you and your pain, we’re here to help. We utilize a holistic approach to your TMJ pain in order to bring you a better quality of life for your today and your tomorrow. Call us to schedule your free consultation. Don’t let your pain go untreated, start your journey to a better quality of life today.

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