When our jaw joints, which control the actions needed to eat and speak, undergo excessive strain, or if the bite becomes imbalanced, then the risk of TMJ disorder and bruxism increases. Patients may experience minor discomfort, but eventually the complications of these disorders could mean serious consequences for your oral health. Learn more about how your Independence, MO, dentist treats these issues in our latest blog.
TMJ Disorder and Bruxism
TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, occurs when pressure on the jaw joints impacts our ability to open and close the mouth completely. The pressure could lead to uncomfortable symptoms and an increased risk of bruxism. When we grind and clench our teeth regularly, this is called bruxism and could eventually damage our teeth, wearing down structure and even cracking or breaking them, boosting the risk of tooth decay and infection. Untreated bruxism could also lead to TMJ disorder. Both issues could be caused by tooth loss, dental misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, stress, bite imbalance, and issues with a restoration.
Signs of Trouble
If you encounter headaches and migraines on a regular basis, or aches in your neck or shoulders, then please let us know. Other symptoms of these issues could include tooth sensitivity and toothaches, popping or cracking in the jaw, facial discomfort and jaw pain, and teeth appearing worn down or small. If you encounter one or more of these warning signs, or if your significant other lets you know that you grind your teeth on a regular basis, then please see us right away. We will examine your teeth for signs of wear and friction, and also look at your oral structures and jaw joints as well.
A Custom Solution
If we find you have either TMD or bruxism, then we may take detailed impressions and images of your jaw joints and use the information to create a custom oral appliance that fits like a mouthguard. The device will reposition the jaw to prevent discomfort and TMJ symptoms, and also place a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent further damage during grinding and clenching episodes. We could also help with a custom restoration, like a crown, or with orthodontics to correct misalignment. If you have any questions about treating either one, or if you experience any of the symptoms we’ve discussed, then let us know today!
Do You Have Questions About Preventive Dental Care?
We would love to help you avoid jaw joint issues and discomfort with our preventive oral appliances. To learn more about our oral appliances, then schedule a consultation by contacting Independence Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Independence, MO, today at 816-350-0808. We also proudly serve patients who live in Blue Springs, Kansas City, and all surrounding communities.