senior couple talking with man at table

What Can Happen if TMJ Is Left Untreated?

TeamOral Surgery, TMJ

TMJ disorder can be very painful. But do you know what is even more painful? Leaving it untreated. 

Perhaps you just keep putting off your treatment. Maybe you are trying to convince yourself that it is really not that bad. Or, maybe you don’t even realize that TMJ is to blame for your pain. Whatever your reason for not addressing your TMJ disorder in the past, it is time to make a change for your future. 

What is TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder - TMJ for short - is a disorder that, as its name suggests, involves the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. This joint works as a hinge between your jaw and your skull. But those who have this disorder know that it can bring either intermittent or chronic pain. TMJ can cause jaw pain, headaches, difficulty chewing and biting, and even ringing in the ears. 

A misaligned jaw, stress clenching or night clenching of the teeth, traumatic injury to the jaw area, arthritis, missing teeth, among others can all be causes of TMJ. 

Leaving TMJ Untreated 

Starting at a very young age, dentists can address concerns about TMJ that can help treat it and lessen the pain. However, when treatment is avoided, it can lead to a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering that will impact your daily life. 

Chronic Jaw Pain

Initially, TMJ may cause intermittent jaw pain. In fact, it may be so infrequent that you don’t see the need to seek treatment. Unfortunately, without addressing the underlying issues, the TMJ pain will often lead to chronic pain -- and that is not something anyone wants to deal with daily. Chronic jaw pain can impact your ability to talk, eat, and enjoy life in general. 

Airway Sleep Disorders

Airway sleep disorders can develop when your jaw is misaligned. As you sleep, your jaw will not sit in its place and can impact your ability to breathe properly. This may result in poor sleep quality that can lead to its own set of health problems, as well as the development of an airway sleep disorder that needs to be addressed. 

Joint Damage 

Joint damage and inflammation are common when TMJ is left untreated. When you have an injury, you address it for it to heal. When you don’t address the need for your temporomandibular joint to find relief, you are constantly subjecting it to more damage. Further, your body’s natural response to try to heal an injury on its own causes a great deal of inflammation. 

The result? Untreated TMJ is leading to more damage and leaving you with constant inflammation as your body tries to fight. 


Headaches are common amongst TMJ sufferers likely because of the area where the joint is located and how it connects to the skull. When you don’t address the issue, you are leaving yourself subjected to more and more headaches. 

Rosewood Dental for All Your TMJ Needs 

As you can see, taking care of your TMJ is an important part of caring for your overall health. Although leaving your TMJ untreated is not life-threatening, it can lead to high levels of discomfort, tension, and chronic pain. And these can greatly interfere with your quality of life. 

Whether you have questions about your TMJ, think you may be suffering from TMJ, or want to discuss available treatment options, contact Rosewood Dental at 301-515-2466 . Or request an appointment online