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What Happens If Persistent TMJ Pain Is Left Untreated?

Sep 01, 2023
Untreated TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, pain that’s left untreated can lead to a cascade of complications that extend beyond mere discomfort. Read on to learn why you should seek care if you have TMJ pain that persists or prevents normal movement.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jawbone to your skull and is responsible for the movement of your jaw when you speak, eat, and even yawn. Issues such as jaw misalignment, teeth grinding (bruxism), trauma to the jaw or face, stress, poor posture, and even arthritis can affect the function and comfort of this joint.

When the delicate balance of TMJ is disrupted, it can lead to discomfort, pain, and a range of symptoms that impact your daily life. About 10 million people have at least one TMJ disorder. 

At Chiropractic, Rehab, and Sports Injuries of Louisville, the team, led by Michael Young, D.C., can help when you have persistent TMJ pain. They identify the underlying cause of your pain and provide effective treatments to restore your comfort and well-being.

Not getting care for persistent TMJ problems can have a direct impact on your health. Here’s why you should seek treatment today.

About TMJ problems

TMJ issues include a range of problems that affect the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles, leading to discomfort, pain, and difficulties with jaw movement. 

Common symptoms of a TMJ problem include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Popping and/or clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Earaches

Since the TMJ plays a crucial role in daily activities like speaking and eating, addressing these issues is essential to ensure overall comfort and oral health. 

What happens when you don’t get care

Without care, persistent TMJ can lead to a host of long-term problems. Here are some of the most common:

Increased pain and discomfort

TMJ pain that is ignored or left untreated can intensify over time. The discomfort can become chronic, affecting your ability to eat, speak, and even yawn comfortably. What initially might seem like a minor annoyance can gradually develop into a constant source of agony.

Limited jaw movement

TMJ disorder can result in restricted jaw movement. Ignoring the pain can lead to muscle tension and inflammation, causing the jaw joint to become stiff and difficult to maneuver. This limitation can make simple tasks like chewing or speaking feel like a struggle.

Headaches and migraines 

Persistent TMJ pain often manifests as tension headaches or even migraines. The discomfort radiates from the jaw to the temples, forehead, and even the neck. These headaches can be debilitating and greatly affect your overall quality of life.

Sleep disturbances

TMJ pain can interfere with sleep, leading to sleep disruptions and even disorders like insomnia. The discomfort can prevent you from finding a comfortable sleeping position, making sleep even more elusive. 

Emotional well-being

The ongoing pain and discomfort of untreated TMJ can take a toll on your emotional health. Chronic pain is often associated with increased stress, anxiety, and depression, affecting your overall mood and outlook on life.

What’s involved in TMJ care

TMJ pain is not something you should just tolerate. Seeking professional care from our chiropractic and rehabilitation experts can help alleviate your discomfort and prevent long-term negative consequences. Dr. Young and our skilled team is trained to address TMJ disorders through noninvasive techniques, corrective exercises, and personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

You benefit from lifestyle recommendations that help you manage stress and discourage nighttime teeth grinding. Plus, dry needling or trigger point injections also help reduce muscle tension and improve circulation. 

Dr. Young may also recommend medical massage, which gently reduces tension in your facial muscles. 

At Chiropractic, Rehab, and Sports Injuries of Louisville, we focus on noninvasive and non pharmaceutical solutions for your TMJ pain. Don’t let untreated jaw pain control your life. Call today, or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.