Why isn’t TMD taken seriously?

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Oftentimes, jaw joint problems have been labeled to be “self-limiting”, irrelevant or fashionable diagnoses. The patient is being dismissed, claiming that his or her ailments were only “in their head”. Well, of course, we all know, this is not true. While one should not exaggerate what TMD does to someone’s body (there might be even worse conditions or disabilities), we also must not underestimate the impact it has on one’s health in the long-run.

Apart from the symptoms of feeling unwell, in pain, sick, dizzy, nauseated, there are distinct consequences that can become very serious. For instance, people who are unable to eat properly can become underweight and unable to receive sufficient calories or vital nutrients. Unbearable pain for more than weeks will cause depression in almost anyone. If the pain lasts more than months, many become suicidal. This is just how it is, let’s face it.

But did you know that TMD also affects breathing? Mouth breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea are associated conditions and very common consequences. Modern medicine has shown that these consequences shorten life span significantly, yet jaw and neck problems haven’t been well identified to be the causative factors so far. Everyone should understand that the most important thing any living being does is breathing. You breathe, you live, don’t breathe, don’t exist. It is as simple as that. And breathing is intricately linked to how your teeth meet, how your jaw is being postured, and how your skull sits on top of the cervical spine.

If you have TMD, it has likely affected your spine already. Many sufferers aren’t able to move properly anymore, can’t sit for an extended time, don’t want to go for physical activities, and in severe cases, develop dystonia or spasms binding them to bed. A condition that can go that far – reducing the airway (and even disrupting it), affecting your body coordination and ability to live that much – should be taken seriously. It is a medical condition, not just something to joke about. Some people might joke about something they have no idea of but no reader of this blog will ever joke about TMD.

Becoming aware of what you have helps you, and it empowers you to explain your condition to significant others in your life – to your friends and family, colleagues, customers or employers. Some day in the future, it might even enable you to explain what you have to some negligent doctor. We can help you to understand what you have, what you suffer from, why you’re suffering from it, and what you can possibly do to get better.

(c) jaw-joint.com 2022