Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, CA
Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, is a serious medical condition that has various potential health consequences. Medical News Today estimates that 9 percent of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, and each set of symptoms is unique. For some with TMJ disorder, they experience facial asymmetry. When you look in the mirror, does your face appear asymmetrical? In this article, your neuromuscular dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry will look into this phenomenon and how we can help through our comprehensive program of TMD treatment in Scotts Valley.
How does TMJ disorder lead to changes in appearance?
Your likelihood of experiencing this depends on what symptoms you are experiencing from your case of TMJ disorder. This ailment occurs when the temporomandibular joint—a small, round joint connecting your jaw to your skull on each side of your head—enters a state of dysfunction. Once the joint starts to malfunction, it affects the surrounding musculature and soft tissue. Left untreated, the effects of TMJ disorder spread, leading to symptoms that may manifest elsewhere in the body and far from your mouth.
The following symptoms of TMJ disorder can alter your appearance
- Tooth wear – Do you notice that certain teeth appear more worn than others in your mouth? There can be a few reasons for this. Maybe you eat more on one side of your mouth than the other. Or uneven tooth wear can be caused by TMJ disorder. This imbalanced wear means your jaw is going to have a slanted appearance when you close your teeth and mouth.
- Joint displacement – In many cases of TMJ disorder, the temporomandibular joint itself becomes displaced, usually due to an issue with or the deterioration of the cushioning disk. This phenomenon makes your jaw to be uneven when you open and close. The best way to re-align the disk and your temporomandibular joint is to receive TMJ treatment from a qualified medical professional.
- Bone irregularity – TMD patients may find that one side of their jawbone becomes shorter than the other. This often occurs when the condyle, the round portion of the jawbone that fits against the skull, experiences excessive wear as a consequence of the disorder.
- Overdeveloped muscles – When your temporomandibular joint malfunctions, your jaw muscles have to work harder to compensate for this joint issue. As a result, TMJ disorder can lead to over-developed jaw muscles on one side of the jaw. These muscles may bulge due to their development or due to swelling or irritation, creating a change in your facial appearance.
- Spinal imbalance – Over time, the consequences of TMJ disorder can cascade throughout your body, affecting the neck, the shoulders, and even the alignment of your spine. When the jaws and their musculature fall out of harmony, this can affect the balance in your neck, making you unknowingly tilt your head.
TMJ Treatment in Santa Cruz
Maybe you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder. Perhaps you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, or you’re noticing changes in your facial appearance and have no explanation for why they are happening. Even if you just suspect you may have TMJ disorder, you should be screened by a neuromuscular dentist. These medical professionals have a specialized knowledge that makes them experts in identifying and treating cases of temporomandibular joint disorder. Our treatment program restores harmony and balance to your orofacial system, bringing your jaws back into alignment and alleviating any of the other consequences of your disorder. To find out more or schedule your consultation, call (831) 438-4411 today.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry offers diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder to our patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.