When our jaw joints undergo excessive pressure or become injured, this could lead to bite balance issues and stress. Over time, TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding) could develop and cause serious complications and painful symptoms. In today’s blog, your El Paso, TX, dentists explain how we treat these common jaw joint issues.
The Dangers of TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joints connect your jaw and skull, and control all of the actions necessary to eat and speak. However, when these joints become strained, this could lead to TMJ disorder and make opening and closing the mouth fully a difficult prospect. The causes of the stress include tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, and injury to the face or jaw. Warning signs of trouble could include a popping or crackling sensation in the jaw, pain in the neck and shoulders, headaches and migraines, and for some, toothaches and sensitivity. There is also a connection to teeth grinding.
The Bruxism Connection
Bruxism refers to chronic teeth grinding, which could place enormous pressure on the teeth and even crack, chip, or wear them down. Teeth grinding could lead to TMJ issues, and untreated TMD could mean the onset of bruxism. Many of the same factors behind TMD lead to bruxism, as well as high levels of stress in your daily life. To avoid the risk of discomfort, tooth decay, and dental infection, you should see us when you begin to experience the pain in your smile.
Oral Appliance Therapy
An oral appliance looks and fits much like a mouthguard. The device is created based on detailed impressions taken of your smile, which ensures a proper fit and treatment with accuracy and precision. The appliance is worn as you sleep, and repositions the jaw to ease pressure and prevent TMJ symptoms. For people who grind their teeth, the appliance places a barrier between the teeth to prevent further damage should you grind or clench your teeth in your sleep. Along with the oral appliance, we recommend avoiding caffeinated products, chewing on hard or chewy foods and objects, and using a warm washcloth against the side of the face to reduce tension. If you have any questions about identifying and treating TMD and teeth grinding, or about our treatment options, then contact our team today to learn more.
TALK TO SUNNY SMILES IN EL PASO, TX ABOUT PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY
At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, we want you to avoid the oral health complications of issues like teeth grinding and TMD, protecting your smile from serious complications down the road. To learn more about our approach to preventive and general dentistry, then contact your El Paso, TX, dentists at Sunny Smiles on Dyer Street by calling 915-859-7000.