When Nursing Home Residents Struggle With TMJ
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home or another long-term care facility and they have either been diagnosed with TMJ or is experiencing TMJ symptoms, it is important to treat this situation with the urgency and seriousness that it deserves. All too often, TMJ symptoms are dismissed as simply a sign that someone is getting older. While TMJ can develop over time and/or may serve as a manifestation of another underlying medical condition, it can also be a sign that something is amiss in your loved one’s living situation.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ is a shorthand umbrella term that encompasses all manner of temporomandibular disorders. These disorders may affect either one or both of the twin temporomandibular joints that attach someone’s jawbone to their skull.
When TMJ disorders are symptomatic, they may cause patients pain that ranges from mild to debilitating. Patients may also suffer limited range of motion in their jaw due to issues with the affected joint itself and/or the muscles near that joint which control the jaw’s ability to move.
A knowledgeable TMJ treatment specialist – including those who practice at TruGlo Modern Dental – can explain this condition in greater detail if patients and/or their loved ones could benefit from greater clarification and/or treatment.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by a number of different challenges. Many arthritis patients develop TMJ as a result of the high rate of inflammatory responses that they experience in their joints. Genetics can play a role in the development of TMJ.
Yet, there are also “lifestyle” factors that can influence both the development of and exacerbation of TMJ. Namely, when someone is experiencing a high level of stress, they may start grinding their teeth and/or clenching their jaw so frequently and so significantly that TMJ develops as an expression of that stress. Hence, why it’s important to question whether your loved one’s TMJ situation may be a sign that something is going on that you need to pay attention to.
When TMJ Is a Sign that Something Is Wrong
The rates of abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are staggering. If your loved one is either newly struggling with TMJ or their TMJ is flaring, it may be because they are being mistreated and are internalizing their stress. Many abuse victims can’t or won’t advocate for themselves due to challenges related to communication, cognitive function, shame, or fear. If something feels wrong to you, it may be time to discreetly connect with an attorney who can investigate and clarify what’s going on.
Failing to Treat TMJ Could Be a Red Flag too
If your loved one is not receiving the care that they need to effectively manage their TMJ symptoms, this could be a sign of neglect. Neglect in a nursing home setting is broadly defined as failing to meet a patient’s basic needs. Medical care is a basic need. If your loved one isn’t receiving necessary care, it may be time to speak with an attorney who can assist you with the legal side of your situation and a TMJ specialist who can assist you with the medical side.