The muscles throughout your body weave a complex and dynamic tapestry. When you are physically in good health and shape, you feel terrific. Unfortunately, one health condition can overlap into side effects of discomfort in other parts of your body. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a perfect example of this. Uncomfortable aches and pains from TMD can extend from your head to your back, and possibly everywhere in between. Des Moines dentist, Dr. Steve Burds wants you to pay attention to clusters of symptoms which could relate to your jaw joints.
When your jaw joints (TMJs) and other muscles used for chewing are inflamed chronically, the condition is called TMD. Many people mistakenly refer to this condition as TMJ, but that is the acronym for the joints themselves. Your TMJs connect your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull. Symptoms such as clicking, popping, and discomfort are more obvious indicators of TMD. However, because the nerves and muscles in the body are extremely complex, they can cause spasms and aches far beyond the jaw, mouth, and facial area.
Your jaw muscles span from one ear to the other. They interact with the muscles in your neck which interact with shoulders and back. Your neck muscles hold your spine in alignment. This sheds light on why jaw distress sometimes translates into discomfort in neck, shoulders, and upper back. Your jaw muscles are responsible for opening and closing your mouth properly, as well as chewing. Because we do so many things involving these muscles, they can become quite fatigued.
TMJ Help from Des Moines Dentist
If you have jaw pain, you can contact our 50309 dental office by calling (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.