Is neck pain related to TMJ? Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA has the answer
TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain
Temporomandibular joint disorder, called TMJ, negatively affects one of the most important joints in the body. The jaw can have some surprising and severe effects on the surrounding areas of the face, neck and can worsen drastically overtime if left untreated.
Causes of TMJ
There are numerous causes of TMJ, but most commonly they are related to whiplash neck injuries, jaw injuries, or severe grinding of teeth – possibly due to stress or simple genetics. Other potential causes of TMJ include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis which can affect the health of the temporomandibular joint as well as other joints in the body. Whatever the case, TMJ isn’t something you want worsening, so make sure to see a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA.
How surrounding muscles are affected
When the temporomandibular joint is misaligned, injured or compromised in any other way, you may require extra effort to chew, talk or even yawn. Since the jaw muscles are capable of only so much effort, other muscles of the face, neck and even shoulders must be recruited to make up for the difference in strength required. Of course, even though these muscles are connected to the jawbone, they aren’t really designed for this task. Over time, it can become very painful and exhausting for these muscles to compensate in this way, just as a hip may become painful when a person is limping to compensate for a bad knee.
How TMJ neck pain is diagnosed
Usually the pain of TMJ leads a patient to a doctor to rule out other disorders that have the same symptoms. If other causes have been ruled out, such as sinus problems or gum disease, a dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s jaw.
If several of the symptoms have been occurring for a significant amount of time along with limited movement or clicking of the jaw, and the symptoms are severe enough to be a problem for the patient, effective treatment options will be recommended. TMJ neck pain can be a very distressing part of daily life and should never be taken lightly. For those who are searching for an experienced TMJ dentist in Beverly, MA, Dr. Benjamin Polan has a warm, friendly and caring staff that can help with all of its associated symptoms.