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Did You Know Your TMJ Disorder Can Cause Arthritis?

Woman experiencing jaw pain and arthritis and BullardIf you have TMJ disorder, you may experience symptoms like jaw clicking or soreness. However, these common signs are unfortunately only the beginning. If TMJ disorder isn’t treated, it can lead to various types of arthritis in the jaw, making it difficult for you to eat, speak, and smile as you normally would. Read on to learn more about TMJ disorder and how it can lead to arthritis in Bullard without proper treatment.

But First, What Exactly is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, which is a group of muscles that are located where your jaw connects to your skull. These joints help you open and close your mouth for comfortable eating and speaking daily. However, when your TMJ joints become irritated, inflamed, or injured, it can be painful to move your jaw. You may even experience jaw dysfunction like not being able to open or close your mouth easily.

How Can TMJ Disorder Cause Arthritis?

Untreated TMJ disorder can lead to various types of arthritis in the jaw, including:

Infectious Arthritis

The temporomandibular joint can become infected, inflaming the jaw and limiting its movement. This infection could be caused by systemic disease or an adjacent virus, but only a professional will be able to know for sure. Your dentist may recommend treatment in the form of antibiotics, hydration, and proper rest.

Traumatic Arthritis

In some cases, acute injury (from a tooth extraction for example) can cause arthritis of the TMJ. You’ll typically feel pain, soreness/tenderness, and limited motion if you have traumatic arthritis. The only way to know the best treatment for you is to contact your dentist, however they may recommend a soft diet, anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and restriction of your jaw movement to help you get back to your full health.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect your TMJ. This usually occurs in people over 50, and symptoms include grating, stiffness, or mild pain. The dysfunction that happens is typically caused by overloaded jaw joints, but this will vary on a case by case basis. One treatment option that is effective is a custom-made oral appliance that is worn during sleep to help the jaw recover.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Less than 17% of adults and children with rheumatoid arthritis are affected by TMJ disorder. Some common symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. In early stages, X-Rays may not show any issues, but if this condition persists, your dentist may notice bone damage later on.

Thankfully, these issues can be avoided and treated by visiting your dentist. Now that you know more about the different types of arthritis that TMJ disorder can cause, contact your dentist to avoid pain and smile with comfort!

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Tad Morgan is an experienced dentist who has taken over 1,000 hours of continuing education courses to offer his patients advanced treatment options like TMJ therapy. He enjoys helping his patients achieve greater comfort in their everyday lives. If you have any questions, he can be reached through his website or by phone at (903) 825-1112.