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Can TMJ Disorder Affect Your Speech?

September 16, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 1:27 am
Two professional women engaged in conversation

Whether you are chatting with family members or making presentations in the workplace, your speech is important! Unfortunately, millions of people struggle with a condition that can negatively impact their ability to communicate: TMJ disorder. Just how exactly can TMJ disorder affect your speech? This blog post provides an explanation, and it gives tips on what you can do to reclaim your ability to speak clearly.

TMD and Speech Problems

TMJ disorder, also called TMD, is a condition that afflicts the small joints in front of your ears, which control the movement of your lower jaw. When the joints are injured or stressed, it can affect nearby muscles and cause a range of symptoms, including difficulties with speech.

  • TMD can cause your facial muscles to be stiff and painful, which can cause your speech to become slurred.
  • You may experience lockjaw (an inability to move your jaw), which can completely inhibit your ability to speak.
  • Your jaw joint may pop and click, making you self-conscious when you talk.
  • To spare your muscles from pain, you might limit your mouth’s actions while speaking, which could reduce your ability to speak clearly and loudly.
  • You might lose your desire to speak because of the discomfort caused by TMD.

What Can You Do?

TMD is a complex condition, but fortunately, it is highly treatable in most cases. Here are some tips that may improve your ability to speak clearly and without pain:

  • Visit a dentist. A dentist can evaluate your situation and design a treatment plan based on your unique circumstances. Something as simple as an occlusal splint (a special type of mouthguard) may be all that you need to find long-term relief.
  • Use heat and cold therapy. Heat can relax overworked muscles, and low temperatures can reduce pain. Heat and ice will not cure your TMD, but they may provide temporary relief and make it easier for you to speak.
  • Perform massages and exercises. Gently massaging your face, as well as performing simple jaw exercises, can strengthen your facial muscles and help them to function better.
  • Rest when you can. If you are in a lot of pain, speak only when necessary. Also, try not to overwork your mouth by eating hard or chewy foods. Temporarily sticking to a soft diet may be beneficial.

Your ability to speak is important! Rather than suffering through the pain of TMD, seek help so you can get back to enjoying pain-free conversations.

Meet the Practice

The team of experts at Westgate Dental Care is proud to provide a broad range of services for the Arlington Heights community. If you are struggling with symptoms of TMD, we are ready to assess the situation and design a personalized plan to help you find relief. To learn more about us or to book a consultation, contact our office at 847-577-7171.