San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Experiencing pain in the neck and shoulders is quite common in our society, and we aren’t talking about the kind caused by your kids, your job, or annoying drivers. We are talking about actual neck and shoulder pain that seems to come out of nowhere, and may be difficult for you to pinpoint the cause.
No matter how old you are, these pains can develop. When they do, you may attribute these pains to stress, working out too hard in the gym, or having poor posture from staying bent over a computer screen all day. There’s another, hidden cause of neck and shoulder pain—temporomandibular joint disorder. Your neuromuscular dentists in San Francisco at Glen Park Dental are here to explain how TMJ disorder can lead to aches and pains throughout your body.
TMJ disorder occurs when there is a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint itself, which connects your jaw to your skull. Most often, TMJ disorder is caused by sustaining an injury to the jaw, usually from a blow or impact. Other common causes of this disorder include having a misaligned bite, living with missing teeth, having teeth that are uneven or have sustained excessive wear, clenching or grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism), stress, or arthritis in the jaw joints.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can be very different from person to person, but one of the most frequently reported issues is some sort of pain—usually being intense enough to hinder the ability to function on a daily basis. This pain may manifest at points throughout the body. Once TMJ disorder first develops, the jaws and surrounding musculature are affected first. As the disorder continues without treatment, the strain on the jaws migrates into other areas. Many TMJ sufferers report waking up with headaches that feel similar to migraines, and the disorder can cause pain and tension in the neck and shoulders even if there is no identifiable tenderness in the jaw joints themselves.
TMJ disorder is one of the greatest diagnostic challenges in medical science, because of the variance in symptoms. Nonetheless, having this ailment identified correctly and then treated promptly is key. Left unchecked, a case of TMJ disorder only will get worse with time, eventually having a greater effect throughout your body. Neuromuscular dentists like the ones on staff at Glen Park Dental are the best-qualified medical professionals to provide relief for TMJ disorder in Oakland.
You may have TMJ disorder and not realize it, but the disorder usually causes both pain and a lack of jaw function. The pain could be as mild as an achy feeling in the morning that goes away, or as severe as a chronic pain that leaves you unable to work or go through your normal routine. Loss of jaw function may just consist of having stiff jaws, or you could suffer from a limited range of motion in the jaws to being unable to open your mouth at all without significant pain.
You should have your TMJ disorder treated before it gets to that point. Learn more about how the neuromuscular dentists at Glen Park Dental can provide relief, or schedule an appointment where a neuromuscular dentist can evaluate you for signs of TMJ disorder. Just give us a call at (415) 585-1500.
Glen Park Dental is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.