If your jaw and mouth hurt constantly, for no obvious reason, you may suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, often called TMJ or TMD.
Drs. Green, Leedy, and Lervick offer a simple, non-invasive appliance to relieve chronic jaw pain caused by TMJ disorder. The oral guard also prevents nighttime teeth grinding, a common destructive habit in TMJ patients.
How TMD Develops
TMD occurs when one or both of the joints that hold the mandible, or lower jaw, to the temporal bone of the skull are not seated properly. A variety of factors contribute to the development of TMD. Some people naturally have issues with the jaw joints, though stress, injury, and malocclusion may be contributing factors.
When the mouth is closed and teeth come together, the jaws should ideally allow the bones of the jaw joints to rest comfortably. When the joints are unable to rest, muscles and nerves become irritated. Often, overworked muscles twitch during the night, causing teeth to grind, which results in tooth wear and breakage.
Symptoms of TMD
Jaw pain is a primary symptom of TMD. The pain may be in the joints or radiate across the cheek(s). Some people have tinnitus, or ringing ears, and earaches. The joint(s) may pop or click when in use, or the jaw can become locked in one position.
Some people experience headaches, migraines, tingling fingers and toes, or pain in the neck and shoulders. Piecing the puzzle of symptoms together is impossible, if you are not aware of TMJ symptoms. Few people would assume that a neck ache stems from a jaw problem.
Fortunately, at FWCFD, we offer patients a custom-fitted oral guard to wear at night, while sleeping. By learning your symptoms and palpating your jaw joints, our doctors can determine if TMD may be the source of your pain.
A TMJ guard is a non-invasive appliance that has helped many people find better quality of life, without surgery. In cases of malocclusion, we will recommend treatment to restore good occlusion, for better overall oral function and health.
Benefits of Treatment
A custom TMJ guard can lessen or stop associated symptoms, relieving pain for good. For some, the TMJ guard and correcting malocclusion permanently correct TMD, and the guard is not a lifelong treatment. Others need to wear a TMJ guard indefinitely, to maintain results.
In addition to relieving symptoms, treatment with a TMJ guard makes teeth grinding impossible. When wearing the appliance, upper and lower teeth cannot touch, thus clenching and grinding are impossible. Because teeth grinding causes tooth wear and breakage, simply restoring occlusion and not wearing a TMJ guard is insufficient for long-term results. Grinding may continue and ultimately cause malocclusion again. Wearing the TMJ guard protects restorations.
Schedule Your Consultation
You do not have to endure jaw pain any longer. Contact FWCFD, your Ft. Worth dentist office, today to schedule a consultation. We will evaluate your symptoms and jaw joints to determine whether TMJ dysfunction is an issue. If so, we will treat it so that you can enjoy more comfortable oral function and relief from nagging pain.