Do you notice a popping or clicking sensation in your jaw? If so, this could be a warning sign of a common oral health issue known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist looks at the factors behind TMD, and discusses common treatment options to improve oral health and provide relief from discomfort!
The Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
The joints connecting your skull and jaw are known as the temporomandibular joints. We need them to eat and speak, so when they undergo pressure this could impact our daily life. Stress and strain could mean the onset of TMD, a host of uncomfortable symptoms, and over time, trouble fully opening and closing your mouth. Factors behind the strain could include injury to the face or jaw, the loss of one or more teeth, misalignment, poor bite balance, high levels of stress, and problems with the growth and development of your jaw. Unless addressed, you may experience the popping or clicking we mentioned above, as well as headaches, migraines, and aches in the face, neck, and shoulders.
The Bruxism Connection
The disorder is also linked to bruxism sometimes. Bruxism refers to chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which places pressure on the teeth, eventually wearing them down or even cracking or chipping them. The same pressure could lead to TMJ disorder, and likewise, untreated TMJ disorder could mean a great likelihood of chronic teeth grinding. With bruxism, you may also experience sensitive teeth and toothaches as the sensitive inner dentin is exposed following damage.
Treatment at Home and in Our Office
To treat the issue, we start by carefully examining your smile to assess the cause and extent of your disorder. From there, we choose the treatment option that best works for your smile. For some, we could correct misalignment using a series of ClearCorrect aligners. We could also help restore bite balance with a custom-made and lifelike dental crown. However, the most common solution is a comfortable, custom-made oral appliance that looks and fits like a mouthguard. We design the device based on detailed digital images we take of your smile, and the appliance will be worn as you sleep. The device then repositions the jaw to ease strain and prevent TMD-related symptoms. If you grind your teeth, the appliance also provides a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing injury. If you have any questions, then please contact our team today!
Do You Have Questions About Common Preventive Treatments?
Our team is ready to help provide relief for the pain in your jaw. To learn more about our preventive and general treatment options, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.