The people who already have missing teeth know the challenges you face after losing one or more teeth.
Not only your eating and chewing habits are compromised, but your self-esteem is also compromised.
Many people think that missing teeth can affect facial aesthetics and chewing availability, but they don’t know those missing teeth also negatively affect the temporomandibular joint.
Most people are unable to link missing teeth with the temporomandibular joint disorder, and they may question whether can missing teeth cause TMJ disorders.
Can Missing Back Teeth Cause Tmj Disorders
If you are feeling pain in your jaw because of the posterior missing teeth and you have little to no knowledge about the link between the jaw joint pain with missing teeth.
Still, if you want to know more about TMJ and its relationship with missing teeth, we will first discuss what TMJ is and what TMJ disorders are.
What Is A Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint is a jaw joint connecting the lower jaw bone or mandible to the skull. This joint is one of the most important joints of the face, and it is present on both sides of the head in front of the ears.
This joint allows you to open and close your mouth and eat and drink easily.
TMJ also refers to a group of oral diseases related to your jaw. It is commonly abbreviated as TMD or TMJ to distinguish it from the temporomandibular joint.
What Is A Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorders affect the joint and the surrounding muscle ligaments and tendons. It can be because of multiple reasons, such as an accident, improper bite and missing teeth. Common symptoms of disorders are tenderness of the jaw, headache and facial pain.
What Are The Consequences Of Losing A Tooth?
If you lose a tooth from the anterior side, you may become worried because of your facial aesthetics and your smile, but if your one posterior tooth is missing, you may not get worried about it.
Most people think that losing anterior teeth is bad but in actuality, losing a posterior is more dangerous because things can get much worse in the long run.
When you lose teeth, either posterior or anterior, the adjacent teeth drift mesially to cover their space. After some time, your jaw will not close properly, and your occlusion will be affected by the teeth drifting.
In most cases, when the word bite problem comes to our mind, we think of two problems, overbite and underbite; that’s not the only problem because if teeth are drifted and not aligned properly, then this can result in a disturbed bite and chipping of the enamel.
Your teeth will become more prone to decay, and your ability to chew food or speak properly will be disturbed greatly. Soon your healthy teeth will not remain in a healthy state if you do not replace them on time.
If you miss posterior teeth, you will face these general problems in the long run. Now we will take a look at the problems which are specific to the temporomandibular joint.
If you also want to know what to do when a tooth falls out and how to treat it, then look at What To Do If A Tooth Falls Out? – Don’t Panic.
How Do Posterior Missing Teeth Affect Tmj?
We already know that when you are missing one or more teeth, then it will disturb the balance of your bite. You will start chewing from one side involuntarily and will not chew from the affected side. This will disturb the balance, and you will do extra work on one side, especially if the food is chewy or hard. This will contribute to the temporomandibular joint disorder on one side.
In addition, people suffer from teeth grinding or sleep bruxism, and they are not even aware that this clenching and grinding of teeth will result in temporomandibular joint disorder. If you are missing one tooth, then the jaw will not be in a stable position.
This unstable jaw position will result in teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint disorders.
According to the national institute of Dental and craniofacial research, almost 10 million Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder because of missing teeth. These are easily treated, but only if you treat them on time.
Symptoms Of TMJ Disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder in the case of posterior missing teeth depends on the oral condition and no missing teeth.
It also depends on how long it is not treated. The most common symptom of temporomandibular joint disorders is a pain in the jaw and the cheeks.
According to research conducted in 2021, the symptoms of TMJ disorders are
- Pain in the jaw that can be felt in your face and neck
- Stiffness of muscles
- jaw opening and closing ability is reduced
- Jaw become locked
- Other dental issues, such as wear and tear of the enamel
- The lower jawbone may shift to the left or right
Symptoms will be only visible on the affected side.
How Can You Treat It?
If you are missing posterior teeth and suffering from TMJ disorder, then luckily, you don’t have to make peace with it because there are many effective solutions, such as
- If you are missing one tooth, you can go for dental implants, or if your oral health doesn’t allow you, then the bridges are also an effective option for compensation for missing teeth.
- You can also go for dental bridges if there are more than four missing teeth. A dental bridge can hold up to four teeth.
- You can also go for dental crowns if you are not missing teeth and your teeth are only broken.
Placing a dental Crown over the damaged teeth will help to prevent temporomandibular joint disorder.
What are the medications for treating temporomandibular joint pain?
You can take different over-the-counter pain medications such as Synflex and Ibuprofen. For muscle stiffness, you can take prescription drugs recommended by your dentist.
What will happen if you ignore TMD for too long?
Suppose you ignore temporomandibular joint disorder for a long time, then even after a Restoration, the temporomandibular joint will not become normal, and you will have to go for surgery.
Many people have missing molars, and after some time, they start to feel pain in the jaw and don’t know the exact cause. Some people may try to search on Google, and after looking at different theories, they may question that Can missing back teeth cause TMJ disorders.
A missing back tooth can cause temporary temporomandibular joint pain and disorders, so immediately replace it with an artificial restoration.