Does your jaw make a clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth? Do you experience pain around your ears or jaw? These are classic symptoms of TMJ disorder. If you experience these symptoms it is important to discuss them with your dentist. TMJ disorder can have many unwanted effects on a person’s oral health and comfort. For instance, a common side effect of TMJ disorder is untimely tooth wear. Normally, when a person has TMJ disorder, his or her teeth will make improper contact during oral function. Repeated tooth-to-tooth contact can result in worn dentition, which might require restorations, endodontic therapy, and possibly tooth extractions to treat. The progression and effects of TMJ disorder can vary from person to person. This is why our dentist develops custom treatment plans to address the unique concerns of our guests.
The Basics of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder involves the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is a joint that facilitates all mouth movement by moving up and down and side to side. Since this joint is important for oral function, anything that causes it to dysfunction can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s daily life. When the TMJ dysfunctions, it can lead to teeth scraping against each other when they shouldn’t, orofacial pain, and an increased risk for oral disease – especially dental caries.
Symptoms and Causes
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary but some of the most common ones are orofacial pain, worn dentition, clicking or popping sensations at the jaw, and headaches. Other symptoms include difficulty or the inability to open and close the mouth. In many cases, TMJ disorder develops as a response to stress. During stressful times, people will grind or clench their teeth. Over time, this will strain the TMJ and contribute to symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Our dentist offers a few different methods for treating TMJ dysfunction. Some patients find relief through practicing stress reduction techniques and receiving therapeutic massage. Others might need restorations to restore their occlusion. Our team may suggest wearing a nightguard – a custom oral appliance used to prevent a person from clenching and grinding his or her teeth.
Call us today at the office of Dr. Daniel Bush to reserve a TMJ treatment consultation.