How does TMJ relate to periodontal disease (gum disease)? TMJ actually never quite causes gum disease, but worsens an existing case.

A prime example would be one who bruxes, or grinds, his teeth because of TMJ, but doesn’t maintain good oral hygiene. If even an “insignificant” bit of gum disease develops, the teeth-grinding, and possibly other results of TMJ — such as not being able to open the mouth all the way or swollen joints and sensitive spots in the mouth — will only increase the speed at which the disease develops and turns into something serious.

You really have no excuse if you’re just plain lazy about brushing and flossing your pearly whites; but if something like severe jaw and neck pain is preventing you from brushing and flossing regularly or correctly, then you must see a TMJ specialist immediately. Gum disease is common, and therefore doesn’t sound very serious, but it is.

TMJ is difficult enough to treat on its own; that AND gum disease would be extremely painful!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

www.dds4smiles.com

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