Can Allergies Affect TMJ?

Doctor examining patient's neck

With spring on our doorsteps, many people are thinking about their allergies rather than their TMJ symptoms. But can allergies and allergic reactions have an effect on TMJ symptoms? Keep reading to find out.

Connection Between Allergies and TMJ

There is one clear connection between allergies and TMJ – the affected areas are all in the same region. Both conditions also have similar symptoms:

  • Facial pain
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

TMJ and allergies are sometimes so similar that people mistakenly think that because it’s spring, it must be allergies causing discomfort. But the two can also be present at the same time. When this happens, allergy symptoms like sneezing and sinus congestion can make TMJ pain worse.

Violent sneezing can cause the jaw to pop out of place or could lead to mandibular dislocation. This is when the lower jaw separates from the temporomandibular joint and won’t go back in place. Those who have weakened or unstable temporomandibular joints are most susceptible to this. When the jaw pops or dislocates it can cause TMJ pain and may require the help of a trained dentist.

Sinus congestion can cause swelling, but more importantly, it can limit breathing to the mouth. Breathing through the mouth may lead to soreness and jaw alignment problems. It can also make wearing your orthotic device more difficult. Some TMJ disorder sufferers may grind or clench their teeth more than normal. Congestion can also be a contributor to headaches.

Earaches are another allergy symptom that can mimic TMJ pain. The temporomandibular joint is connected to the front of the ear canal. When it swells, the pressure from an earache may manifest as discomfort in the TMJ as well.

Children with Allergies May Be the Most Affected

Research has found that children with untreated allergies may face the most serious issues. Nasal congestion from allergic rhinitis can lead to temporary discomfort in the joint, but over the long-term, breathing through the mouth can impact the growth of the jaw and teeth. It is well documented that mouth breathing in children can lead to dental malocclusion, a contributing factor to TMD.

Because TMJ pain and allergy symptoms are so similar and often related, it’s important that you see a dental professional that is experienced in treating TMD. A dentist can help diagnose the source of TMD and provide solutions for alleviating discomfort during and after allergy season. The team at MedCenter TMJ has helped countless patients by providing non-invasive, effective TMJ treatments. If you live in the Houston area and are experiencing allergy-like symptoms and pain, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

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