One of the most significant, and yet less-obvious, consequences of tooth loss is the effect of missing teeth on your mouth’s proper function. A full set of teeth can absorb the repeated pressure of your bite while minimizing the impact on each individual tooth. For each one lost, your remaining teeth are subjected to more pressure, and the imbalance can lead to cracked, fractured, or broken teeth. The joints and muscles that control your jaw’s movement can also suffer damage from the imbalance, resulting in the debilitating discomfort of TMJ disorder. Today, your Park Ridge implant dentists, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas, discuss the jaw dysfunction, including other factors that can disturb your bite’s balance besides tooth loss.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is named after your temporomandibular joints, located where your mandible (lower jaw) meets the temporal bones in your skull. Healthy, properly-aligned TMJs are designed to glide smoothly when you open and close your mouth, distributing your bite’s pressure evenly throughout the joint. Coupled with a full and well-balanced set of teeth, this design helps your mouth operate with ease and without damaging the components of your oral health. Besides tooth loss, other factors that can disturb this balance and place excessive stress on your TMJs include;
- Crooked teeth
- A congenital jaw defect
- Excessive stress/anxiety
- Habitual teeth-grinding
- Poorly-fitting dental restorations (i.e., dental bridge, crown, or denture)
Restore Your Good Oral Health with Your Park Ridge Implant Dentists
Restoring lost teeth is one way to restore balance to your smile and help prevent the onset of TMJ disorder. However, if you’ve retained all of your natural teeth and still experience jaw discomfort, then we can help you determine if TMJ disorder is a factor and what may be causing it. To learn more about TMJ disorder and your options for treating its underlying causes, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas by calling your Park Ridge implant dentists’ office at (847) 696-1919. Located in the 60068 area, we proudly serve patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities.