Dentures and TMJ | How Does One Affect the Other?

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
June 13, 2018

An older man drinking his coffee while reading a book

TMJ: it’s painful, uncomfortable, and possibly related to the fact that you wear dentures. Wait, what? That’s right; dentures and temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) could be related. But, before you get too upset, the good news is that there are also dentures that could actually help relieve TMJ symptoms. Dive into the facts on dentures/TMJ below to learn all about how one could affect the other.

The Lowdown on How Dentures Can Cause TMJ

One of the potential causes of TMJ is a misaligned bite. When teeth are damaged or lost, your bite could be adversely affected, leading to teeth that no longer fit together correctly. And, when that happens, the jaw joint, along with the muscles around it, might become sore, misaligned, and fatigued. Pain could occur when the jaw joint is imbalanced as a result of TMJ, and the teeth might begin showing signs of excessive wear and tear, too. It’s a vicious cycle.

So, when you’re given dentures that aren’t properly fitted and aren’t able to maintain your bite, it should come as no surprise that your risk of developing TMJ may increase. Symptoms like headaches, popping in the jaw, difficulty moving the jaw, pain in the jaw, and neck pain could occur. Ouch! And, in severe cases, you might even end up experiencing dizziness, pain in the ears, or ringing in your ears. If these symptoms occur, talking to your dentist about being refitted for dentures is definitely recommended.

Keep in mind, too, that you might not notice a problem with your dentures right away. But, if you have complete (AKA full) dentures, just be aware that a displaced jaw disc may be possible, so having your dentist check your dentures regularly might be helpful in preventing problems before they occur.

Tip: If your dentures become damaged in any way, it’s best to head for a replacement right away in order to prevent and correct imbalances within the mouth that could lead to TMJ.

Got TMJ? Time to Get the Right Dentures…from the Right Dentist!

Do you think you might be experiencing the symptoms of TMJ? Then it’s time to see your dentist, who could help you get to the root of the problem. If your dentures are indeed to blame, it’s likely time to replace them, even if they aren’t worn out or broken. With dentures that fit perfectly and allow you to get your bite back, you might just be well on your way towards resolving those painful TMJ symptoms that get in the way of enjoying your life and your favorite foods!

Choosing the right professional for your dentures is a key step in ensuring that they’ll fit perfectly in your mouth and maintain your optimal bite. While some dentists, unfortunately, employ old-school methods when fitting dentures for their patients, modern pros know how to ensure your dentures will fit just right.

Thankfully, you could easily find a dentist who accepts senior dental insurance and who specializes in dentures that won’t only restore your smile but also keep your bite aligned to prevent complications that could include painful TMJ.

Hold On—What About Neuromuscular Dentures?

Consider talking to your dentist about neuromuscular dentures, which are designed to help the jaw maintain its ideal alignment so that the joints and the muscles could function as they were meant to—without pain. These particular dentures might be able to provide an improved fit so that you can talk, chew, and bite more easily, especially if you’ve dealt with uncomfortable dentures in the past.

Overall, dentures are a wonderful tool that could be used when you’ve lost teeth, but it’s all about the fit. With properly fitted dentures that support your natural bite, you can have a pain-free mouth and jaw so you’ll be able to eat comfortably and smile bright.


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