A very surprising cause of TMJ – birth
Many newborn babies have elongated skulls. This happens because of the pressure on the baby’s skull while being pushed through the birth canal. While the majority of babies wind up with normal, round heads, sometimes the pressure on the skull at birth can be a cause of TMJ disorder. TMJ is a jaw disorder that can cause pain and other symptoms in the head and neck.
The skull is a complicated thing
Every part of your skull is connected. The bones, muscles, joints and nerves in your head all exist in a complex system. At birth, an elongated skull is not an issue because the bones are still pliable, and the physical appearance of the head is usually not permanent. After birth, nature and environment take over in the design of the skull and ultimate physical structure. Some problems, however, may last until they are treated, such as misaligned teeth or a misalignment of the jaws.
A bad bite is not just a cosmetic problem
Many children have crooked teeth or a bad bite. Many people think of this as mostly a problem with the child’s physical appearance, especially if the bite problem is mild. In reality, a bad bite can cause jaw problems like TMJ, which can be painful and start a domino effect of other problems involving the teeth, the head and beyond. TMJ symptoms include:
- neck pain
- shoulder pain
- jaw popping
- difficulty opening or closing the jaws
- back pain
TMJ disorder is usually seen as an adult problem, but children can have TMJ disorder too. TMJ treatment for children can range from resting the jaw to orthodontics. If a child is a teeth grinder, a bite guard or mouth guard can help to prevent grinding and relieve pressure on the jaws. If a child has a bad bite, orthodontics may be recommended to straighten the teeth and balance the jaw.
Find out more
If you’d like to learn more about TMJ disorder in children, its possible causes and the treatment options, please contact Chicago dentist Dr Shapira to schedule a consultation. If your child has symptoms of TMJ disorder, or if you do, whatever the cause of TMJ, there are treatment options available that can give relief and overall better oral and physical health.