The pain TMJ brings is more common than you probably think. Figures from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reveal that around 10 million Americans suffer from the condition. As such, it’s important that you have more than just a cursory knowledge regarding temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders. Here are five key TMJ facts you should be familiar with:
It Involves Nerves
Why does TMJ cause pain? The simple explanation there would be because it involves nerves. Your cranial nerves supply an estimated 80% of all sensory input your brain processes. The trigeminal nerve, which is the largest one in your head, has control over the motor movement of your jaw muscles. If this sustains damage, the nerve could be the precursor to a TMJ disorder – or to be more specific, trigeminal neuralgia.
It Has No Single Cause
Upon hearing the acronym TMJ, a lot of people automatically think that bruxism or teeth grinding is the culprit. Only it’s not the only condition that causes the pain. Dentists have ruled out the idea of a sole cause for TMJ. That’s right, the pain stems from different factors and circumstances. An improper bite and arthritis, for instance, could lead to TMJ, too. High levels of stress can worsen the condition as well.
It is Often Temporary
In most cases, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders do disappear over time. On its own, your body will take steps to ensure it no longer gives you pain. This is why surgical procedures are only a last resort in this condition.
But do know that there are cases where TMJ treatments are truly necessary, says tmjsleepindiana.com, particularly in serious cases. The good news is that some treatments are reversible, so that it’s easy to adjust once the disorder heals on its own.
If we take the numbers into account, quite a lot of people suffer from TMJ disorders. But, as with any condition, coping with it is all a matter of knowledge, which is why it’s best to inform yourself about the pains, the causes, and the treatments of this disorder.