TMJ Disorders Can Affect Your Speech

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — bettersleepdent @ 6:25 pm

Older man with jaw painAre you struggling to speak clearly from jaw pain? Does your jaw click or pop when you move it? You can be experiencing symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located just in front of your ears, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. Inflammation within the joints can cause dysfunction, which can lead to many symptoms, including speech problems. Don’t worry. Here’s how to stop your jaw pain and ensure clear communication. 

TMJ Disorders and Speech Problems

It’s common for people with TMJ disorders to experience limited mobility. Clicking, popping, and grating sounds can coincide with the jaw locking in an open or closed position. Not to mention, facial pain is often seen with TMJ disorders, but those aren’t the only concerns. Believe it or not, TMJ dysfunction can affect your vision, hearing, and speech.

TMJ symptoms can come and go, or they can get progressively worse. As the disorder becomes more serious, your speech can be affected. You can become accustomed to holding your mouth in different positions to avoid pain. This can make your words sound slurred. Your voice may also sound different. You might also have more or less saliva than usual, which can also affect your speech.

Treating TMJ Disorders

Several things can cause TMJ disorders, like an injury, a bad bite, or grinding your teeth. Your dentist will determine what’s causing your pain to create an effective treatment strategy, which may include:

  • Orthodontics: Orthodontic treatment can fix your bite and alignment to take pressure off the joints.
  • Nightguard: A nightguard provides a cushion between your upper and lower arches to absorb the friction from grinding and clenching your teeth.
  • Oral Appliance: Your dentist can fit you with an oral appliance to train your jaw to rest in a more comfortable position. 

Your TMJ specialist will also recommend a few changes at home to manage your discomfort and improve your jaw’s mobility, like:

  • Eat Soft Foods: Avoid anything hard or chewy. Choose soft foods that require minimal chewing to give your jaw a break.
  • Hot and Cold Compresses: Alternating heat and cold can soothe tense muscles and help with pain.
  • Anti-Inflammatories: Take an OTC anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Jaw Exercises: Jaw exercises can enhance joint movements and reduce your discomfort over time.

You don’t have to live with the complications caused by TMJ disorders. Your dentist has the solutions you need to improve your speech clarity and enhance your quality of life.

About Dr. Sara Saba

Dr. Saba achieved her dental degree at the University of Maryland at College Park. She is a lifelong learner and has pursued advanced training in many specialties, like Invisalign and Mandibular Advancement Devices. Dr. Saba provides up-to-date solutions to support overall wellness. Request an appointment through her website or call her office at (301) 460-3331.

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