Is TMJ a Form of Arthritis?

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Because we frequently associate arthritis with pain and stiffness in the wrists, elbows, or knees, the relationship between arthritis and jaw pain may not be immediately apparent. But if you've been experiencing facial pain, it’s time to treat your TMJ in Pembroke pines. You can do certain things to lessen the effects of jaw discomfort from arthritis. It can even influence your quality of life and your ability to enjoy meals.

woman in Pembroke Pines suffering because of TMJ disorder

Arthritis That Affects the Jaw

Development of Arthritis

The temporal mandibular joint is in charge of jaw pain (TMJ). Dental professionals explain that this is where the lower jaw hinges at the level of the ear. The TMJ, which controls both eating and speech, is the bodily joint that is used the most. Additionally, due to its frequent use, the jaw is more prone to developing various forms of arthritis. The TMJ is at risk for osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis. However, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis affecting the TMJ. Jaw arthritis may be more common in some people than others. For instance, macro or micro trauma from grinding or clenching, combined with diminished lubrication in the joint, may raise the risk of developing arthritis.

Clenching and Grinding

According to dental professionals, stress and persistent pain, such as that brought on by arthritis elsewhere in the body, can lead to clenching. As a result, jaw discomfort and arthritis may appear to be a "chicken or the egg" situation in a vicious cycle. The TMJ can wear down, the cartilage in the joint can break down, and degenerative arthritis ensues if bruxism and clenching continue for too long. These issues are frequently linked to painful ailments, including autoimmune or inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

oral surgeon and patient in Pembroke Pines discussing treatments for TMJ disorder

Do You Have TMJ in Pembroke Pines?

Jaw pain might also result from conditions not related to arthritis. According to our dentists, muscle and soft tissue tension—such as issues with the myofascial tissue surrounding the jaw—is the primary cause of pain. Poor posture, which can put the head in an unnatural position, or improper tooth alignment can also impose pressure on the jaw, resulting in discomfort. A jaw injury, infection, or previous surgery could be to blame. If you have other questions about TMJ dysfunction, call us for more information.