TMJ disorder and bruxism are two very different, but related, jaw joint disorders. Unless treated, they can lead to severe discomfort and major complications for your oral health. In order to treat these concerns, your Houston, TX, dentist may suggest an oral appliance, which could improve smile health and bite function without relying on surgery or other extensive treatments!
TMJ and Poor Bite Function
TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joints, which connect your jaw and skull, undergo excessive strain and stress. Over time, this leads to poor bite function and even problems fully opening and closing your mouth. Bruxism, in which we grind and clench our teeth regularly, could develop as a result of untreated TMJ disorder and likewise, bruxism could place strain on the joints to cause TMJ dysfunction. The warning signs of these disorders include headaches and migraines, jaw pain and facial discomfort, aches in the neck and shoulders, and tooth sensitivity and toothaches. If you begin to experience these potential warning signs, then contact our team today to learn more.
Creating Your Custom Appliance
We will perform a detailed exam using advanced technology to identify the presence of these disorders. Often, treatment includes an oral appliance. We begin by taking impressions, images, and measurements of your smile, using the information to design and create an appliance that looks and fits much like a mouthguard. The device repositions the jaw to ease pressure, and prevents further damage to the smile from teeth grinding by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. We could also address the issue with restoration placement or even orthodontics.
Possible Causes and Preventive Options
The causes of strain vary, but are often related to stress, tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, and injury to the face or jaw. To help reduce the severity, avoid hard or chewy foods and don’t chew on objects like pens or pencils, as these actions could make the issue more severe. Placing a washcloth dampened with warm water against the side of the face can help ease tension, and we may also discuss possible muscle exercises as well. If you have any questions about identifying and treating these common disorders, then contact our team today. We would love to help you enjoy a healthy and comfortable smile!
MMC DENTAL PROVIDES PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY
We can help improve the balance and function of your bite, offering greater comfort and better oral health. If you experience headaches or jaw pain, don’t ignore these possible indicators, let us know right away so we can discuss treatment options. To find out more about our approach to preventive dentistry, then please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Chan by calling MMC Dental in Houston, TX, today at (713) 926-8896.