Are Tooth Loss and TMJ Disorder Related?

are tooth loss and tmj disorder relatedAfter losing one or more teeth, the last thing you need is another reason to worry about your dental health. However, allowing tooth loss to remain untreated, or neglecting to replace all of your lost tooth structure, can lead to a host of subsequent problems beyond trouble biting and chewing. Today, we explore how tooth loss can lead to TMJ disorder and chronic jaw discomfort by affecting your mouth’s alignment and proper function.

The Importance of Alignment

Your mouth is comprised of numerous components, all of which are designed to operate in tandem when healthy and properly aligned. For instance, the layout of your teeth helps disburse the pressure of your bite, minimizing the force that your teeth and jaw joints absorb. When the ranks of your teeth are disturbed by loss, so is your smile’s balance, and your jaw has to work extra-hard to function. The excessive pressure can damage your jaw’s joints (temporomandibular joints, or TMJs) and the muscles that surround them, leading to inflammation and chronic jaw discomfort.

Tooth Replacement = Better Bite Balance

Replacing lost teeth does more than restore your confidence; it also restores your smile’s harmony and reduces the risk of further damage to the rest of your smile. For the most complete tooth replacement option, your dentist might recommend one or more dental implants, which are surgically inserted into your jawbone to replace lost tooth roots. Restoring your smile’s balance by replacing lost teeth can help prevent TMJ disorder and damage to your temporomandibular joints, or relieve chronic jaw discomfort that has already developed.