What Happens if TMJ Goes Untreated?

  • Posted on: Feb 21 2015

Severe headaches, recurring neck pain, jaw tension.. these are just a few of the serious—and painful—symptoms that can occur with temporomandibular joint disease (TMD or TMJ). Millions of people suffer from the disorder and are very familiar with the pain and discomfort it can cause. Treatment is available, yet too many people wait to have the problem addressed.

What happens if TMJ goes untreated? Is it dangerous?

If TMJ continues without attention there are a number of possible risks. Depending on the severity of your jaw misalignment, TMJ may lead to increased pain, more frequent headaches, and unbearable tension. Moderate pain can escalate and turn excruciating and chronic. With the increased pain, comes the added potential of other dangerous side effects such as depression and unhealthy pain relief addiction.


Without proper treatment, TMJ may also lead to excessive teeth grinding. This in turn may cause premature wear on teeth or even lead to a pattern of sleep insomnia.

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Sometimes those suffering from TMJ may favor one side of the jaw over the other to avoid pain. This kind of continued repositioning has the potential to lead to more permanent dental issues. There is also the possibility for ringing and pain in the ears, even dizziness, due to the jaw’s position under the ears.

Serious prolonged TMJ issues can lead to tooth loss, bone damage, muscle atrophy, and even malnourishment when an individual avoids certain foods for fear of pain while eating. So it is important to have your TMJ treated early on.

The good news is that treatment is available and Dr. Mulder specializes in providing TMJ pain relief and jaw function restoration. Our office can help restore the imbalance TMJ causes and help you return to day-to-day life pain free.

Contact us for a smile consultation to learn more about how we might help.

Published by: Grand Rapids Dentistry Blog – A Life of Smiles
A Grand Rapids, Michigan based cosmetic, general & sedation dentistry

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