What to do when Chronic Pain goes Undiagnosed

undiagnosed chronic painMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Approximately 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s about 20% of our population. While many cases of chronic pain get diagnosed as systemic diseases, back or joint problems, or fibromyalgia, many cases go undiagnosed. Test after test may leave your doctors shaking their heads, leaving them no other choice but to send you on your way with a refillable prescription to manage your pain. You might be one of those adults.

Miami Designer Smiles wants to share some insight on what to do if you have chronic pain that goes undiagnosed, and how your Miami dentists might help.

If you’re tired of relying on medication just to get by, only masking your chronic pain, then consider a consultation with TMJ specialists in Miami at Miami Designer Smiles.

What’s TMJ, and how does it cause pain?

The temporomandibular joint, as it is called, connects the lower jaw to the skull. Running through this joint is intricacy of nerves and blood vessels, with one of the most prominent nerves being the trigeminal. This major nerve is responsible for the lower jaw movement as it sends a significant amount of sensory input back and forth from the brain to the jaw.

Now, imagine for a moment that the lower jaw becomes slightly imbalanced, which may occur from clenching and grinding your teeth, from a broken or missing tooth, crooked teeth, or severe jaw misalignment from the way your face developed as a child. In these instances, the temporomandibular joint becomes irritated. This is where TMJ disorder settles in, restricting blood flow to the area, and causing the nerve to become inflamed and aggravated. It’s essentially similar to having a pinched nerve in your neck or back. Ever heard of someone who’s had that happen before? They usually end up with widespread pain that reaches their extremities like arms, hands, legs, or feet.

The trigeminal nerve can radiate pain in this same manner, resulting in chronic pain in the jaw, face, head, neck, or back. In extreme cases, patients may experience shoulder or arm pain as well. The reason why chronic pain associated with TMJ disorder is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all is because primary care doctors aren’t really trained or experienced in dealing with the jaw joints. However, if you’re wondering what doctor to see that diagnoses and treats TMJ disorder, contact neuromuscular dentists at Miami Designer Smiles.

Neuromuscular dentists have special training and education that focus on how jaw alignment affects the face, airway, and how it relates to chronic, widespread pain throughout the body. It might be hard to imagine how something so small could affect you in such a significant way, but think about how the wheels on your vehicle work. If you own a car, hopefully, you also know that a wheel alignment is necessary from time to time. If you ignore an off-balance wheel, you may not notice anything is up at first. But, eventually, that imbalance gets worse and worse, causing the vehicle to shake at high speeds, have a strong pull to one side or the other, and significant damage will begin to occur the longer you ignore it. Our bodies are similar. Everything is designed to work together in harmony. But, when a single aspect is out of line or not working as it should, things go array, and pain is often the first signal that there is a problem.

If you are tired of dealing with chronic pain or want to find out ways to deal with chronic pain without using medication, book a consultation with Miami Designer Smiles. We offer TMJ disorder treatment that doesn’t involve taking medication for the rest of your life! Learn more by calling (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation with Miami Designer Smiles today if you live in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.