When our jaw joints become strained, or our smile ends up imbalanced, this could lead to painful symptoms related to common disorders. TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, and bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) impact many of us, and unless treated, could mean serious trouble for our smiles. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist explains how we provide relief for these disorders.
The Causes of Jaw Joint Disorders
What causes these serious oral health issues? Both TMJ disorder and bruxism could be caused by the loss of one or more natural teeth, dental misalignment, bite imbalance, injury to the face or jaw, or high levels of stress in your life. With TMJ disorder, the strain on the jaw joints could lead to trouble fully opening and closing your mouth. With bruxism, people grind and clench their teeth at night, which places major pressure on the smile.
Warning Signs and Dangers
With TMD, people may notice a clicking or popping sensation in the jaw, as well as headaches, migraines, and aches in the face, jaw, neck, and shoulders. People who grind their teeth could also experience headaches and jaw pain, as well as toothaches and tooth sensitivity, as the constant pressure could wear down enamel or even crack or chip a tooth. Over time, these disorders are linked to major discomfort, as well as damaged smiles and the risk of complications like tooth decay and dental infection.
Treatment with an Oral Appliance
Treatment for these concerns will vary, and could depend on what we discover after we thoroughly examine your smile with digital imaging technology. For example, we could correct misalignment with Invisalign® clear aligners, which helps restore balance to your smile. We could also use custom-made crowns to help improve overall balance and ease strain on the jaw joints. However, the most common solution for jaw joint disorders is an oral appliance, a device worn at night that looks and fits like a mouthguard.
We craft them based on detailed impression and images we take of your smile. The device then fits comfortably and offers treatment with accuracy and precision. For those with TMD, the device helps ease strain on the joints to bring relief and stop painful symptoms. If you have bruxism, then the device also eases strain on your smile, and provides a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further injury. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Headaches or Jaw Pain?
Our team wants to help you enjoy a comfortable and healthy smile throughout 2021. For more information on treating bite imbalance and jaw joint strain, or to schedule your appointment with our Des Moines, IA team, contact Gateway Dental Group by calling 515-244-9565 today.