Although there are some people who are constantly at the doctor’s office, others of us don’t take our health seriously enough. This can be especially true of TMJ patients who dismiss symptoms and try to get by just on home remedies.

But if that is you or someone you love, here are five critical reasons why you should stop trying to deal with symptoms at home and actually see a Detroit TMJ dentist.

woman sitting on couch at home holding her jaw due to pain

You Don’t Know All the Symptoms It’s Causing

It’s a common misconception that TMJ is just jaw pain. The truth is, TMJ may be responsible for all kinds of symptoms that are making your life miserable. Headaches, including migraines and sinus headaches, are often caused by TMJ. Do you have tinnitus? Neck and back pain? Tingling in your fingers? All could be related to TMJ.

And then there are secondary effects and related conditions to consider, such as sleep apnea, which commonly overlaps with TMJ. Treatment of TMJ can also be life-saving treatment for sleep apnea.

You Don’t Know How Fast It’s Developing

Many people have TMJ that resolves on its own. It never requires professional treatment. But other cases of TMJ can develop suddenly. One day, you’re dealing with jaw sounds and a little soreness, and the next day, your jaw popping goes away. And then a couple days later your jaw is locked and you become aware of the permanent jaw damage you’ve experienced.  Damage that can only be repaired with surgery.

Consulting with a TMJ dentist early will allow us to distinguish which type of TMJ you have, and whether you need treatment now, you might benefit from observation, or can go home without worrying. We can take objective measurements that will allow us to tell whether your TMJ is worsening, even if symptoms aren’t changing.

Home Remedies Aren’t Harmless

Another problem with relying on home remedies is that they’re not as harmless as you might think. If you’re taking over-the-counter pain medications on a daily basis, you are putting yourself at risk, whether it’s acetaminophen-related liver damage or ibuprofen-related heart attacks, thousands of people experience serious side effects from over-the-counter medications.

Herbal supplements are also commonly believed to be safe, but they are poorly regulated and some of them contain surprisingly toxic ingredients.

It Might Be Something More Serious Than TMJ

Most likely, your jaw pain is related to TMJ, but in rare cases it might be something else. Jaw pain could be cancer, or it could be a sign of heart attack or other cardiovascular problems. Coronary artery disease can manifest as pulsatile tinnitus. Chronic headaches can be brain tumors.

None of these conditions will be detected by staying at home and trying to treat TMJ on your own. Nor will they be eliminated. A visit to your doctor or a TMJ dentist can help get you the best treatment or just put your mind at ease.

You Deserve to Live Pain Free

Consider how miserable it is to keep living in pain. And what if you’re doing it unnecessarily? What is the sense in that? Give yourself a week or so of home treatment, but if the pain lingers or is really severe, don’t keep suffering. Talk to someone who might give you relief.

If you are looking for help to go back to pain-free living in the Detroit area, please call (248) 480-0085 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness in Rochester Hills.