Many of us take our health much more casually than we should. We ignore symptoms and try to get by using home remedies and over-the-counter medications, and this often happens with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ, or, sometimes, TMD). People ignore symptoms until it’s too late.

But there are many reasons why you should take your TMJ seriously and get professional help for your jaw problems.

TMJ should be taken seriously

You Don’t Know All the Symptoms It’s Causing

You might think your TMJ is just jaw pain, but the truth is that it’s actually related to many different symptoms you might not be connecting. Headaches are common in TMJ, but if you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, dizziness, or vertigo, that could be TMJ, too. Neck and back pain may also be linked to TMJ. Tingling and numbness in the fingers may also be directly related to TMJ.

And when you consider secondary injuries that might be related to diminished core strength, poor balance, and sleep apnea--common in people with TMJ–TMJ could be underlying most of the health problems you’re currently facing.

You Don’t Know How Fast It’s Developing

For many cases of TMJ, the condition never develops beyond an annoying, recurrent jaw pain and a few other related symptoms. But for other cases, the condition can progress rapidly, dramatically damaging your jaw joints.

With early intervention, TMJ can be treated noninvasively, without drugs. The longer we wait, the more likely it is that TMJ surgery will be necessary. You often won’t get any warning about the change. One day, your jaw will make the usual sounds, and the next it will stop and then your jaw will lock.

Home Remedies Aren’t Harmless

Many people perceive that home remedies such as over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements are safe, but this isn’t necessarily so. Many people experience serious liver damage from acetaminophen use, and ibuprofen is associated with heart attack risks as well as potential damage to muscles.

Herbal supplements are poorly regulated and may contain all manner of undeclared ingredients. And some of them have potentially serious side effects.

It Might Be Something More Serious Than TMJ

It’s rare, but your jaw pain might actually be something other than TMJ. Toothaches and jaw pain may mask cancer, or might be a sign of heart attack or other cardiovascular problems. Talking to a dentist about TMJ and getting evaluated can determine whether it’s TMJ or something more serious.

You Deserve to Live Pain Free

Why do you continue to just get by when you could be living pain free? Think of all the things you could do if you weren’t limited by your pain: working harder and earning a promotion, spending more time with family, even pursuing your dreams–it all gets easier when you eliminate your pain.

Taking your TMJ seriously means taking your life seriously and trying to live it to the fullest.

Not everyone will benefit from TMJ treatment, but we can determine whether you will. Please call (201) 343-4044 for an appointment with a River Edge TMJ dentist at the River Edge Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry.