Last week, we looked at how bruxism could strain your smile and damage your teeth. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at a very different, but often related, disorder known as TMD, or TMJ disorder. Your Kahoka, MO, dentist wants to offer relief with an oral appliance and help you enjoy better oral health.
The Causes and Warning Signs of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder occurs when the jaw joints undergo excessive strain and stress. The strain then causes problems opening and closing the mouth fully, and leads to a host of uncomfortable symptoms. The disorder could be caused by multiple factors, including untreated bruxism, tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and other factors that upset the balance of the bite. People with the disorder may report toothaches and sensitivity of they also grind their teeth, as well as a cracking or popping sensation in the jaw. Headaches and migraines are common too. People may also report jaw aches, facial pain, and discomfort in the neck and shoulders. If one or more of these potential symptoms sound familiar to you, then please contact our team to schedule a consultation and exam!
Diagnosis and Preventive Actions
To diagnose the issue, we will take a close look at your teeth for signs of wear and friction, and examine your jaw joints and oral structures too. For accuracy and precession in the diagnostic process, we often employ digital imaging technology throughout this process. Afterward, we can discuss changes in your daily life to ease strain, and also recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. To ease discomfort during the treatment process, you can place a warm washcloth against the side of your face, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Try to avoid chewing gum or biting down on pencils and pens, as this could exacerbate the discomfort. Cutting back on caffeinated beverages and trying to ease stress in you daily life is helpful too!
Creating Your Oral Appliance
The actual treatment options could vary, and could include restoration placement to improve balance, as well as orthodontics to correct misalignment. However, the most common solution is an oral appliance. Created based on detailed impressions and images we take of your smile; the appliance will fit comfortably and be worn like a mouthguard as you sleep. The device then repositions the jaw to ease strain and provide relief. If you have any questions, the give our team a call today!
Do You Have Questions About TMD?
Our team wants to offer a healthier and more comfortable smile with oral appliance therapy. To learn more about putting a stop to your jaw joint strain, then please contact your Kahoka, MO dentist at Barbour Dental today. Contact our office at 660-727-4746 to schedule your visit with our team.