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Do Wisdom Teeth Cause TMJ Dysfunction?

Posted by Martin Abelar on Sep 6 2022, 11:33 PM

Do Wisdom Teeth Cause TMJ Dysfunction?

Meta: You may think that TMJ dysfunction and wisdom teeth are related, but here’s why they aren’t.

Do you have TMJ dysfunction? If you do, you are likely familiar with the jaw pain, popping and clicking of the jaw, tinnitus, occasional difficulty chewing and speaking, headaches, neck aches, backaches, and more. You may even wonder why me, or what on earth could be causing this TMJ dysfunction in the first place.  While some TMJ dysfunction is easily explainable (some cases of TMJ dysfunction are caused by jaw injury) others are harder to understand and explain.

One theory floating around is that TMJ dysfunction is caused by wisdom teeth. But is this true? After all, many of us get our wisdom teeth out in our teens and still develop TMJ dysfunction in our late teens and early twenties. But that’s not always the case either. So, how related are the wisdom teeth to the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, and how likely is it that those wisdom teeth are causing TMJ dysfunction?

When our wisdom teeth grow in, it can be pretty painful. Naturally, that pain is localized to the jaw, right where the temporomandibular joint connects to the sockets. So again, naturally, it’s easy to think that pain could be TMJ dysfunction pain when its just, or only, wisdom tooth pain.

While it is certainly possible to have TMJ dysfunction and have wisdom teeth pain at the same time, it is unlikely that your wisdom teeth are causing your TMJ dysfunction, or that if you have wisdom tooth pain that you have TMJ dysfunction.

That much being said, if you do have painful wisdom teeth, it is certainly worth having them evaluated by Dr. Abelar. Many people end up having their wisdom teeth extracted, because they are not necessary, because they can be painful, and because they can become impacted, which can not only damage the wisdom teeth but the surrounding teeth and jaw bone.

If you suffer from TMJ pain, speak to Dr. Abelar about that too. Dr. Abelar offers custom treatment plans for patients with TMJ dysfunction that may include orthodontics, custom orthotics, physical therapy, or other options that will help get your jaw in the optimal position to eliminate the TMJ dysfunction and its associated pain.

To schedule a consultation for wisdom teeth or TMJ dysfunction pain, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office today.

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