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The Link Between Allergies and TMJ Disorder

Posted Jul 15 2009 5:43pm

Just how strong is the link between allergies and TMJ Disorder? There’s been surprisingly little study done on this subject, although there are those medical practitioners who feel that at least some cases of TMJ Disorder are caused by allergies.

Interestingly, Weston A Price inadvertently suggested a dietary connection to TMJD when he wrote his major opus, Physical and Nutritional Degeneration. In this work, he showed how quickly dental arches became deformed once native people’s diets changed from natural, wholesome foods indigenous to their group, to a diet laden with processed white flour and sugar. Within one generation, dental caries became rampant, as did deformed dental arches, something most Americans seem to have. Deformed dental arches could contribute significantly to the development of TMJD.

Taken a step further, it is easy to see that food allergies can also be a culprit that brings about dental disorders and, subsequently, trouble with the temporomandibular jaw joint (TMJ).

According to the Atlanta Dental Group, PC., when allergies cause the nose to swell so that one begins to breathe through one’s mouth, many things go wrong. “With children that are growing, mouth breathing from allergies can be disastrous. The jaws will not grow together and a bad bite develops.” Eventually the allergy sufferer’s tongue becomes misplaced and is lowered to help facilitate breathing. Over time, this abnormal tongue placement can cause swallowing difficulties and even speech problems.

Ultimately, according to the Atlanta Dental Group literature, “Untreated allergies can also be the original source of TMJ problems because these allergies disturb the normal functioning and growth of the teeth and jaw bones.”

Besides the most common source of allergies, such as dairy, gluten, etc. many do not stop to consider possible allergies to metals – specifically metals that may be found in amalgam fillings.

The connection between allergies and TMJD is not studied or considered much at all, yet the possibility of a connection is there. Perhaps, instead of treating TMJ Disorder, one should check for, and treat, allergies first.
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