According to the National Insitute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, between 11 and 12 million American adults have pain near their temporomandibular joint. Are you or someone you know experiencing orofacial pain? This type of pain can be caused by TMJ, injuries, or various health conditions. Living with orofacial pain can pose many challenges. Let’s examine three ways this pain can affect a person’s life.
1. Physical Discomfort
The physical discomfort that accompanies orofacial pain can vary depending on the extent of the injury or disorder. Some people may have constant pain, whereas others may only experience pain when they attempt to eat. Regardless of how frequently a person experiences discomfort stemming from orofacial pain, it’s worth speaking with a healthcare provider about the steps that can be taken to mitigate this pain.
2. Eating Habits
Eating a meal or a snack should be a pleasurable experience. However, it’s hard to enjoy the taste of food if one’s jaw, head, or teeth are in constant pain. As a result, a person living with severe orofacial pain may end up changing their eating habits to avoid foods that require chewing. This could limit their eating to a soft or a liquid diet until they receive the treatment they need to chew properly.
When it comes to socializing with friends, family, or colleagues, eating, drinking, and talking are some of the most commonly enjoyed activities. However, doing these things can be difficult when a person is experiencing severe jaw or head pain. As a result, they may start isolating themselves in order to avoid these activities. If this isolation continues too long, it may eventually lead to the development or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Orofacial pain isn’t an easy thing to live with. After all, over the course of daily life, the average person frequently needs to move their jaw and mouth to eat, drink, and talk. Dealing with ongoing pain from a disorder or injury can significantly reduce one’s quality of life without the proper care. If you’re currently experiencing orofacial pain, you don’t need to suffer in silence. The solutions you need for relief are available. Contact TMJ Care today to learn more about how our team can help you.