There are an estimated 10 million people in the United States who suffer from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) disorder. For most of these people, the pain in the area of the jaw joint and muscles is not a serious problem, but for others the headaches, muscle pain, and popping may be extremely painful. Although we don’t know why yet, women are suffering from TMJ pain more than men. And, more surprisingly, pregnant women are more likely to suffer from the disorder than non-pregnant women. We may not know the answer to why it affects women more but we can try to help you understand the TMJ disorder and what to do about it.
TMJ disorder or TMD is a condition that affects the joint connecting your lower jaw to your skull. The disorder occurs when the joints become damaged by an accident to the head or jaw, teeth grinding and teeth clenching, and even bad posture. There are several causes to bad habits such as teeth grinding and bad posture, so you need to be aware of how to avoid it. For women, stress, medical conditions, hormones, joint structure, and vitamin deficiencies all affect or enhance the pain caused by TMJ.
Of course, in order to prevent the pain we advise you to speak to your doctor first. It is possible to be suffering from something completely different and you might not want to try any at-home prevention tips if it’s not the case. Some symptoms of TMJ disorder include problems chewing, headaches, pain in the jaw joints, muscle spasms, trouble opening and closing your mouth, and swelling on the side of your face.
Whether women are more affected by TMJ pain or if they’re just seeking help more than men, it is better to be on top of your checkups than to avoid it. As we try to understand TMJ disorder and why it affects women more than men, you can take action yourself by preventing further pain. Make an appointment with your dentist or doctor today before the pain gets worse. You might be a candidate for Neuromuscular Dentistry.