Because TMJ Disorder (TMD) is so prevalent in our society, it is important that people become more aware of the problems associated with this disorder. So many people are completely unaware that this is a real thing and how difficult it can make your life. It is unfortunate that so many people suffer from TMD and really have no idea as to the problems it can lead to. Currently, TMD is associated with vascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
What occurs in TMD is the articular disc that sits on the condyle (the cartilage that sits on top of the jawbone) has slipped off and is now pinching nerves and blood vessels in that region. Think of it like this: your doctor tells you that you have a disc slipped in your lower back. You then understand why the back and legs hurt and understand why there is numbness in that area. When the articular disc slips off the condyle, it can actually displace not in just one direction, but it can be a double displacement (in two directions) and since there are two TMJs in the skull, such displacement can hurt terribly and cause tremendous inflammation.
Sometimes the warning signs are there: popping/clicking of the jaw joints, head/neck pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, and even tremors. These warning signs can occur at all ages and can lead to other health complications as well. Frequently, young children report ear problems but not the pain, clicking and popping, teeth grinding and clenching and headaches. Typically, the ear is treated and or the ears are irrigated. If this persists the source of the problem is likely a slipped disc in the jaw joint. That slipped disc can actually push the condyle backward and into the area of the ear canal causing the “clogged feeling”. This is actually quite common.
Another very important facet of TMD is how the slipped discs cause either outright pain or even a low-grade irritation/ inflammation that prevents us from getting good sleep. Too many people just get used to the discomfort and learn to live with it. This lack of good sleep correlates to cardiovascular problems, diabetes and cancer. The human body requires good quality sleep in order to allow the cells to rejuvenate and for the body to heal from injury. So, if you are not sleeping all that well, it may just be a TMJ problem that should be analyzed. Part of that analysis includes looking at your Vitamin D-3 levels, because without proper D-3, there is no way to sleep well (but that is a whole other discussion).
So, whether you are young, old, or in between, it is really important to know a little about TMJ disorder and how it affects your wellbeing. The earlier in life that we recognize the problem, the easier it is solved. For your good health, reduce high stress or anxiety in your life, deal with the signs presented, and pass the word on.