TMJ / TMD (Temporomandibular Joint or Temporomandibular Disorders) are connected with problems of the jaw and/or the joints of the jaw and the surrounding facial tissues. These issues affect chewing and movement of the jaw which can make day to day living very uncomfortable.
Indicators or Symptoms might include:
Pain or tenderness in the jaw
Inability to fully open the mouth
Locking of the jaw
Clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw
Causes of TMJ/TMD include:
Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Dislocation of the soft tissue
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
Regardless of what the causes are or how the symptoms present, TMJ/TMD should not be ignored. Treatment of TMJ / TMD is possible and can minimize your overall discomfort. Treatments can range from the fabrication of a bruxism appliance (night guard) to the replacement of the affected joint. A night guard is an oral appliance used especially to protect your smile from the effects of bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching. Many people who suffer from this condition are unaware of it because they clench and grind their teeth unknowingly as they sleep. A night guard is worn during sleep at night or during day-time naps to protect your teeth from excessive wear and stress. Properly wearing your night guard can also prevent other painful symptoms like jaw pain, facial pain, migraines, and tension headaches. If addressed early, the more extensive joint replacement surgery can possibly be avoided.
TMJ/TMD can also result from other stressors in your life that are not necessarily teeth related. Don't wait, call our office today to learn more about your options!
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