3 Complications of Untreated TMD

Dec 08, 2023
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Don’t let changes in your jaw go unchecked. Here, we explore three of the bigger issues that can arise if you don’t get treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

TMD. Those three little letters — short for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder — can make your days painful, especially when you try to eat. Even so, many people ignore the signs of a jaw joint problem and try to continue on without seeking care.

The problem? Left untreated, TMD often causes worsening symptoms — and can even develop into jaw damage. 

That’s where we come in. As specialists in the temporomandibular joints that power your jaw, we offer TMD treatment here at LA Dentists Group in Glendale, California. If you’ve noticed that your jaw hurts or pops when you move it or you’re waking up with headaches or jaw pain, come see our team

Let’s look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t delay getting care for your jaw. 

#1: Your symptoms may grow

The biggest complication from untreated TMD is worsening symptoms. 

In the beginning, those symptoms might be minor, like a little discomfort when you chew or a slight clicking sound as you move your jaw. Over time, though, those symptoms can grow. You might get pain that radiates down your neck or headaches that interfere with your day, for example. You might even find yourself struggling to chew. 

Don’t wait until your symptoms become a big issue. The sooner you see our team for TMD, the sooner we can tailor a treatment plan to help you find relief. 

#2: Joint damage can get worse

If the underlying cause for your TMD is arthritis in one or both of your temporomandibular joints, waiting won’t do you any favors. In fact, the inflammation behind that arthritis often worsens without treatment and can damage your joint. 

Talk with our team. If you’re dealing with infectious arthritis, we can help you find the right regimen to address the infection, allowing the inflammation to heal. Or if you’re living with osteoarthritis in your TMJ, we can at least help you enact a plan — like an oral appliance you wear at night — to slow its progression. 

#3: You can impact your teeth

In some cases, teeth grinding plays a role in problems with the TMD. Teeth grinding usually happens at night as you sleep, which means you might not even be aware that you’re doing it. The TMD symptoms can be a blessing in disguise because they tip you off to this oral health issue. 

If you let your teeth grinding go unchecked, you can wear down your teeth. You might even wear past the enamel protecting them, leaving you with tooth sensitivity and a heightened risk for cavities and other issues.

Ultimately, if you’ve noticed that your jaw doesn’t seem to be functioning at its best, don’t wait to talk to our team. To sit down with one of our TMD experts, call our office or book your appointment online today.