Do you have pain in your jaw, or persistent headaches? If so, this could be related to a common oral health issue known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. In order to treat this issue and protect the smile from serious complications down the road, your Newhall, CA, dentist may recommend a custom-made oral appliance. Find out how we identify and treat TMD-related issues in today’s blog.
What Causes TMD?
TMJ disorder occurs when our temporomandibular joints under excessive strain. These joints are crucial for eating and speaking, controlling the movements of the jaw joints and connecting them to our skull. When these joints undergo pressure, uncomfortable symptoms arise and eventually, opening and closing the mouth becomes difficult. Common cause of this jaw joint strain include tooth loss, dental misalignment, bite imbalance, teeth grinding, and injury to the face or jaw. We will perform a detailed examination to pinpoint the exact cause and recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Warning signs often includes headaches, jaw pain, and aches in the neck or shoulders. People also report popping and crackling sensations in the jaws as well.
Treatment With an Oral Appliance
If you begin to experience one or more of the symptoms above, then please see us right away for treatment. We will carefully examine your jaw joints using advanced technology. We can then prescribe the most appropriate treatment options. For example, our team may suggest orthodontics to correct misalignment, or a crown or other restoration to improve bite balance. However, the most common treatment option is usually an oral appliance. Created based on detailed impressions we take of your smile, the mouthguard-like device will fit comfortably and be worn as you sleep. The device actually moves the jaw forward to ease pressure on the joints, preventing further symptoms and protecting your teeth from damage due to bruxism.
Let’s talk about bruxism. This disorder occurs when people regularly grind their teeth at night. Teeth grinding could lead to TMJ disorder, or untreated TMJ disorder could make teeth grinding more likely. The disorder shares the same symptoms with TMD, but also includes toothaches and tooth sensitivity, as the pressure from grinding and clenching wears down and damages outer enamel, literally cracking and chipping teeth and increasing the chances of decay and infection. An oral appliance again helps by preventing further damage and reducing future grinding episodes. If you have any questions about addressing either of these serious oral health concerns with an appliance, then contact our team today.
Does Your Jaw Hurt?
If you have headaches or pain in your smile, then you may have questions about TMD. To learn more about our approach to preventive dentistry, then please schedule a consultation by calling Newhall Dental Arts in Newhall, CA, today at (661) 259-7760.