Ticks, a problem all across the United States, lurk in tall grasses and latch onto unsuspecting victims. A bite from a deer tick, one of the most common ticks around, could infect you with Lyme disease. This inflammatory disease can incubate for months, even years before significant symptoms manifest. Even then, a person might mistake their symptoms for other conditions. One condition that Lyme disease often looks like is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Knowing other symptoms associated with Lyme disease could help you find the right diagnosis before serious damage occurs.
Shared Symptoms of Lyme Disease and TMJ
Advanced stages of Lyme disease usually presents as arthritis inflammation appearing in large joints. Symptoms commonly appear in the knee joints, but many patients experience Lyme disease jaw pain as well. Lyme disease and jaw pain go hand in hand. It shares many symptoms with TMJ, making it difficult to recognize. TMJ and Lyme disease both not only cause jaw pain, but also neck and shoulder stiffness, migraines, tingling of the hands and feet, and limited jaw mobility.
Although TMJ treatment can help alleviate some symptoms caused by Lyme disease, it will not reduce them entirely without antibiotics. At the same time, experiencing little to no change in symptoms after TMJ treatment does not necessarily mean that you have Lyme disease. You can open communication with your TMJ dentist about the possibility of other existing conditions.
Other Signs of Lyme Disease
Knowing the other symptoms of Lyme disease can help you open the dialogue about the possibility of a Lyme disease infection. About two weeks after infection, a rash usually appears around the bite site, and you may experience fever and fatigue. You may also experience aches in your other joints, which can worsen over time.
Early detection is key for preserving your overall health. This is why it is so important to recognize when your treatment does not help alleviate your symptoms. Once identified, antibiotic treatment can help prevent later complications from Lyme disease. Advancement of this disease can cause cardiac problems, debilitating arthritis, and chronic central nervous system disease.
Open Communication Could Save Your Life
At B & D Dental Excellence, we know that keeping you healthy takes the combined minds of many medical professionals and your own self-advocacy. Many known conditions and diseases present similar symptoms to one another. This makes it difficult to diagnose the problem for some individuals on the first try. The same can be said about jaw pain. We encourage you to maintain open communication with all of your medical providers about your symptoms to make sure that you receive the correct treatment whether for TMJ or Lyme disease.