Our jaw joints provide the range of motion needed to eat and speak. When these same joints undergo excessive strain, then a serious oral health disorder can arise. What do you know about TMJ disorder (TMD)? What warning signs should you be aware of and what solutions can the dentist provide?
The Causes (and Symptoms) of TMD
A number of issues can place serious pressure on the jaw joints, such as tooth loss, misalignment, bruxism (teeth grinding/jaw clenching), stress, and injury to the teeth or jaw. Patients with TMD may notice pain in the jaw or face, popping or clicking sensations in the jaw, persistent headaches, and tooth sensitivity/toothaches (especially if they also grind their teeth). Without treatment, symptoms will continue to grow more serious and patients may have trouble fully opening and closing their mouths.
Daily Habits to Avoid
There are a few changes to your daily routine that can help. First, we recommend cutting back on caffeine products. You should also avoid hard/chewy foods, as the chewing needed to consume them can exacerbate symptoms. Also, avoid chewing on inedible objects such as pencils or pens. If you begin to experience discomfort, consider applying a warm wash cloth against the side of your face. We may also recommend simple muscle exercises to perform daily to ease the strain on your joints.
Custom Oral Appliances
In most cases, we can treat the issue with an oral appliance. The device will look similar to a nightguard, and will also be worn as the patient sleeps. The appliance can reposition the jaw to ease strain on the joints. This can also help prevent further damage as a result of bruxism. We can also treat the issue with restorations or even orthodontics treatment, such as our ClearCorrect invisible braces.
If you have any questions or concerns about treating TMD, or if you think you may be at risk, then please contact our office today.
Do You Need Treatment for TMD?
At Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, we can sue custom solutions to help you avoid the complications of untreated TMJ disorder. We’ve proudly served our patients in Astoria, NY (including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all surrounding communities) since 1991. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibowitz, call our office in Astoria today at 718-728-8320.