The Link Between TMJ Disorders and Chronic Health Issues | 60544 Oral Surgeon

60544 Oral Surgeon

Chronic jaw pain – also known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJD) – is a condition that affects an estimated 10 million Americans. Recent studies suggest that TMJ disorder may also be linked to a host of underlying health concerns. Although “TMJ” tends to be a catch-all phrase people use to describe jaw joint pain, disorders are not all that common. When they are, they impact the joints, muscles of the TMJ, and adjacent tissues.  The causes of jaw joint disorders are often linked to issues like: 

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  • Past traumatic injuries
  • Tooth and jaw misalignment
  • Chronic teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Stress
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Understanding TMD’s Domino Effect

In a survey of people with TMD, researchers found that about two-thirds of patients with the disorder also experienced chronic health conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and migraines. Continued research is currently underway to explore the potential systematic connections between these medical issues. 

Some studies suggest that when jaw muscles become tense and irritated, they release an inflammatory compound called “CGRP” into the body. As these compounds spread, it can create a chain reaction of inflammation that might ultimately lead to a number of other painful disorders. The focus on early intervention for TMD could minimize the risk of additional health problems.

Is it TMD?

Aside from notable jaw pain, individuals suffering from TMD/TMJD may experience symptoms of:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Problems chewing
  • Audible clicking in their jaw
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Stiff joints
  • Teeth that don’t close together properly

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to go ahead and schedule a TMJ exam. In most cases, TMD treatments are more effective as part of an early intervention plan. 

Treating TMJ Disorder

TMD disorder is typically treated by a dental professional. Normally, your dentist will use a physical exam and X-rays to determine the cause of the TMD and pinpoint the origin of your symptoms. Depending on the cause of your TMJ problems, treatment options can range from physical therapy and bite splints to orthodontic treatment and surgical intervention.

Chronic jaw pain is a treatable condition. With early diagnosis, you could potentially avoid related inflammatory health issues. To discuss treatment options for TMD, contact our Oral Surgeon in Downers Grove IL office today.

Chicago Dental Implants, Oral & Facial Surgery
Phone: (708) 301-5000
10713 W 159th Street
Orland Park, IL 60467

Dental Implants Maintain More than Your Smile | 60516 Oral Surgeon

60516 Oral Surgeon

Dental implants are the preferred treatment choice for replacing missing teeth. What you may not know is that filling in an open space with a dental implant can also slow or stop the bone deterioration that’s associated with tooth loss. 

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Understanding the Tooth/Bone Connection

The bone in your jaw, just like those in the rest of your body, follows a specific lifecycle. As bones age, their tissues are resorbed into your body, and new bone forms to replace them. In the jaw, our bone growth occurs in response to stimulation. That is, when we use our teeth to bite or chew. But when we lose a tooth, there’s nothing to stimulate the bone. So, it starts to shrink. If the tooth isn’t replaced relatively soon with a dental implant, it can lead to secondary complications, including:

  • Gum recession
  • Difficulty chewing 
  • Speech challenges
  • Shifting, tilting of adjacent teeth
  • Sagging, collapsed facial features

How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

Dental implants not only replace teeth, they naturally encourage bone growth. The science behind this “osseointegration” phenomenon is that the titanium metal used in implants stimulates a natural affinity in the bone. After an implant is placed in the jaw, the bone cells adjacent to it begin to grow and attach themselves to the titanium post. This osseointegration cycle stabilizes bone loss and the implant itself, by providing the stimulation the jaw needs to stay healthy. It’s also what makes implant treatment so successful!

The negative effects of tooth loss are progressive. Waiting too long to replace a missing tooth could lead to excess bone deterioration (resorption). And when too much bone is resorbed, it limits the space and support available to place an implant. That’s why we recommend getting an implant consultation as quickly as possible following tooth loss or extraction.

Are You a Candidate for Implants?

Dental implants are a good option for people with: 

  • Sufficient bone height and density
  • Healthy gums 
  • No serious underlying health issues
  • Good oral hygiene habits

Dental implants offer a natural, permanent solution for people with missing teeth. Choosing to get a dental implant improves your smile in more ways than one. For more information on dental implant placement and preventing bone loss, contact our office to schedule a consultation with our Plainfield IL Oral Surgeon

Chicago Dental Implants, Oral & Facial Surgery
Phone: (708) 301-5000
10713 W 159th Street
Orland Park, IL 60467