#26 Chronic Inflammation Associated with TMD Will Cause Unwanted Changes to the Immune and Endocrine Systems

Chronic Inflammation is the bodies response to damage, any kind of damage.  The damage can be caused by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms), or the bodies inability to heal itself appropriately after physical trauma. A good example of the bodies inability to heal after physical trauma is seen with TMD, (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).

Damage to the TMJ’s (Temporomandibular Joints) can be caused by bruxism, (clenching and grinding of the teeth), acute trauma, (bar fights and auto accidents), and functional malocclusions, (when the teeth do not fit together properly).  Once the cushion or disc inside the TMJ becomes damaged, it will not heal properly because it has no direct blood supply necessary for healing.  Then the acute inflammation caused by the trauma becomes chromic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the bodies continued effort to heal without any healing  taking place.

As discussed in previous articles, chronic inflammation stimulates the autonomic nervous system to respond with instructions to tighten all the muscles associated with jaw movement, followed by muscles associated with neck movement, causing the most frequent symptoms of TMD,  headache, jaw pan, and neck pain.

But chronic inflammation also send signals to the immune system, (cells that fight infection) and the endocrine system, (hormones that regulate body functions) asking for their help with healing.  But the healing never occurs. And the chronic inflammation within the TMJ keeps sending signals out for help, sometimes for years, upsetting the normal health of the immune system and the endocrine system.  According to a peer reviewed article in “Arthritis Research Therapy” published in 2014, “Chronic inflammation effects energy storage/expenditure and fluid regulation hormones”.  And energy storage/expenditure and the bodies fluid regulation have everything to do with how we feel and respond in daily life and can contribute to create and influence other diseases.

The definition of TMD is “Chronic Inflammation of the TMJ”.  This relationship of chronic inflammation of the TMJ and hormonal changes, which is well documented in the scientific literature, has been totally ignored by both the dental and medical establishment.

There are many good reasons to treat your TMD besides getting rid of your headaches, earaches, jaw pain and neck pain.  Your general health and well being will be affected by untreated, long standing, and residual chronic inflammation in your jaw joints. The medical and dental communities have a lot of work to do in making this a priority.

The Urbanek Device and Protocol does nothing more and nothing less than diminish inflammation within the TMJ’s in order to treat TMD.  If you or your health care provider feel your symptoms are related to TMD, you are welcome to contact our office for a consultation.  We are here to help.