Do you frequently suffer from headaches, or pain in and around your jaw joints? If so, this could actually be connected to a serious oral health disorder known as TMD, or possibly the warning sign of bruxism (teeth grinding). In today’s blog, your Garland, TX, dentist looks at how we identify and treat both TMJ disorder and bruxism.
TMJ Disorder and Bruxism
Our temporomandibular joints connect the skull and the jaw, and are responsible for the actions needed to eat and speak. When these joints undergo excessive strain, this could lead to TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Over time, this disorder could lead to trouble opening and closing the mouth. In addition, bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, could not only develop as a result of TMD, but also be a factor in the onset of TMD. Bruxism wears down enamel and damages your teeth, leading to a greater risk of tooth decay, infection, and tooth loss. Both of these disorders are linked to headaches, jaw pain, popping or clicking in the jaw, and aches in the neck and shoulders. Both could be caused by tooth loss, bite imbalance, dental misalignment, and injury to the face or jaw.
Custom Oral Appliances
Often, we can treat these disorders with a custom-made oral appliance. The device will look and fit much like a simple mouthguard, but will be created based on detailed images and impressions we take of your smile. When worn, the device moves the jaw forward to ease pressure and prevent TMD-related symptoms. The appliance also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth, which prevents further damage due to grinding and clenching episodes. The oral appliance is worn at night, so there is no need to worry about impacts on your appearance either.
Other Possible Solutions
We could also ease pressure with orthodontic treatment, correcting crooked and crowded teeth to ease pressure on the jaw joints. Placing a custom-made crown could also be beneficial. To ease symptoms, we suggest avoiding hard or chewy foods, avoiding chewing on pens, pencils, or ice, and placing a warm compress against the side of the face to ease tension. We could also discuss facial muscle exercises as well. If you have any questions about combating these two jaw joint disorders and returning the comfort and health of your smile, then contact our team today.
LET’S TREAT YOUR TMD
Our team would like to help you avoid the serious discomfort linked to these jaw joint disorders. To find out more about our preventive treatment, schedule a consultation by calling Mai Dentistry in Garland, TX, today at 972-530-0552. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in both Spanish and Vietnamese.