Don’t Become Stuck With TMJ Disorder

des moines tmd

TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, could lead to strained jaw joints and even damaged smiles. To offer relief, you may need to see your Des Moines, IA, dentist. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the common warning signs and causes of TMD, and also discuss possible treatment with a simple and comfortable oral appliance.

The Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder impacts millions of smiles in the United States, and could lead to serious discomfort. The disorder occurs when the joints connecting your jaw and skull, known as temporomandibular joints, undergo excessive strain and stress. Factors include issues that upset bite balance, such as tooth loss, dental misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and teeth grinding. Symptoms people report may include headaches, migraines, jaw pain, popping or clicking in the jaw, and aches in the neck and shoulder. If you experience one or more of these possible warning signs, then let us know right away.

Long-Term Impacts on Your Smile

Without treatment, TMD could increase the risk of chronic teeth grinding, known as bruxism. Teeth grinding then damages teeth and could lead to the onset of tooth decay and infection, causing tooth sensitivity and toothaches. The strain could also cause problems fully opening and closing the mouth. To avoid worsening discomfort or damaged smiles, you should seek treatment when you experience pain in and around your mouth.

Creating an Oral Appliance

An oral appliance is often used to treat TMD issues and offer relief, all without surgery or other invasive procedures. To begin, we will take detailed images and immersions of your smile with digital scanning systems. We use these to design and craft an oral appliance, one that looks and fits like a mouthguard. When worn at night, the device will ease pressure on the joints and reposition the jaw to prevent further symptoms or complications. If you grind your teeth, the device also prevents further damage by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. Other treatment options could include crowns to restore balance, or aligners to correct misalignment.

If you have any questions about how to treat issues like TMJ disorder, or about how to recognize symptoms, then contact our team today. We want to help you enjoy optimal oral health and a stronger smile!


We’re ready to ease strain and prevent further damage to your smile. To find out more about how we put a stop to TMJ-related discomfort and teeth grinding issues, then please contact your Des Moines, IA, dentist, Dr. Burds, by calling 515-244-9565. We also offer care for common issues like bruxism, sleep apnea, gum disease, and more.