Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is what allows your jaw to move and is one of the more complex joints in the human body. You have one on each side of your head located close to each of your ears. For many people, these jaw joints function just fine. Others experience problems with their TMJ, which can include symptoms such as jaw pain and stiffness, clicking or popping noises when moving the jaw, and even problems with the ears.
But can TMJ disorders cause your teeth to shift? Here’s what you need to know when it comes to teeth shifting and TMJ problems.
Teeth Grinding Could Be the Culprit
The relationship between bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMJ disorders is complex. For some people, bruxism can increase their risk for a problem with these jaw joints. For others, TMJ issues lead to jaw clenching or teeth grinding.
Bruxism can increase your risk for TMJ disorders in addition to damaging your teeth. You may grind your teeth and not be aware of it but experience a sore jaw, shifting teeth, or other symptoms. Bruxism can change the way the top and bottom rows of teeth fit together and could be the culprit behind your TMJ symptoms !
Untreated Bruxism or TMJ Could Cause Gaps in Your Teeth
When left untreated, bruxism or TMJ problems have the potential to cause gaps in your teeth over time . It’s natural for teeth to shift somewhat over your lifetime, but certain conditions can exacerbate the condition, causing unnatural or accelerated teeth shifting that can change the alignment and appearance of your smile.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of either bruxism or TMJ such as jaw or ear pain, headaches, sore or loose teeth, or shifting teeth, it’s time to seek a consultation with your professional dentist to determine what’s causing the problem.
How to Identify the Cause of Your TMJ
TMJ disorders can cause chronic pain when left undiagnosed and untreated. If your teeth are shifting as a result of TMJ, you could also end up with a misaligned bite or crooked teeth over time.
Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for your TMJ discomfort is easier than you think. Find a dentist experienced in treating TMJ disorders; he or she can evaluate your oral cavity, including your jaw, to determine if your temporomandibular joint problems could be the result of an underlying condition such as bruxism .
TMJ disorders can have many causes, including stress, anatomy, a misaligned bite, and even arthritis and poor posture. Identifying the cause of your symptoms will help you and your dentist determine the best treatment options for you!
Worried About Shifting Teeth or TMJ?
If you have concerns about shifting teeth or TMJ discomfort, schedule a consultation with your experienced oral healthcare professional to learn more about what could be causing the disorder and how you can help prevent your teeth from shifting!