When you have a bite imbalance and your jaw joints become strained, this could lead to serious oral health issues known as TMJ disorder (or TMD), and bruxism (teeth grinding). Without treatments, these issues could mean damaged teeth and worsening discomfort. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist explains how a custom splint could help treat these issues.
The Warning Signs and Connections of TMJ Disorder and Bruxism
When your bite becomes imbalanced and the jaw joints become strained, this could lead to issues opening and closing your mouth. Known as TMJ disorder, this could lead to headaches, migraines, jaw pain, popping or crackling in the jaw, and facial aches. Without treatment, this could cause bruxism, and vice versa. With bruxism, you grind and clench your teeth frequently at night. Factors behind these disorders include tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and stress. Teeth grinding shares many of the same symptoms, but you may also experience tooth sensitivity and toothaches.
Dangers Down the Road
As we touched on above, lack of treatment for TMD could cause complications opening and closing your mouth fully. With teeth grinding, the pressure could begin to wear down enamel, or even crack and chip the tooth itself. The worn and damaged enamel exposes the sensitive inner tissues to harmful bacteria, allowing cavities and infection to develop, and potentially threatening the stability of your smile!
Creating Your Custom Splint
If you experience these symptoms then please let us know. We will start by carefully examining your smile with advanced technology, so we can identify the factors behind the disorder and assess overall severity. Treatment could include procedures to improve bite balance, such as placement of crowns or possibly orthodontics. However, we often correct these concerns with a custom splint. Created and custom-fitted based on detailed digital images and impressions, the device looks and fits like a mouthguard. When worn at night, the device repositions the jaw to ease strain, and also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage.
The custom splint brings discomfort and prevents further issues with your smile. If you have chipped or cracked teeth due to teeth grinding, we could offer repair in one visit with lifelike dental bonding, or up to two with our custom-made and natural looking dental crowns. If you have any questions about how we treat issues with a custom splint, then please contact our team today to learn more.
Do You Have Questions About Preventive Dentistry?
Our team wants to help you find relief for your jaw and facial pain. To learn more about our custom oral appliances, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.