Do you grind your teeth at night or clench them during the day? Do you often get head and neck pain, have a sore jaw while chewing or hear pops or clicks in your jaw joints? Temporomandibular joint disorder, also referred to as TMJ or TMD, affects the quality of life of many people. Temporomandibular joint disorder involves conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and nerves on one or both sides of the head that result in jaw, face, head and neck pain.
As prosthodontists, we are experts at TMJ or TMD treatment at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta. TMJ or TMD, is the source of chronic pain for many people. These symptoms occur for a reason, which is an unbalanced bite where the upper and lower jaws meet. Pain isn’t the only side effect, as TMJ or TMD will wear down, chip and break the teeth due to the improper alignment of your bite. Fortunately, treatment is available to restore your optimal relaxed jaw position and alleviate the discomfort of bite misalignment.
Teeth grinding and clenching is a subconscious muscle activity. TMJ sufferers grind without realizing it, until a symptom such as a fragmented tooth, facial pain, headaches or soreness occurs. Left untreated, TMJ can result in severe wear or fracturing of your teeth. Fractured and worn teeth can lead to costly and lengthy treatments.
Neuromuscular dentistry is the science of finding a person’s optimal relaxed jaw position (their correct bite). Then, devising treatments to make it permanent, thus eliminating symptoms and discomfort. The most common treatment for TMJ disorder includes wearing an oral appliance designed especially for you.
A custom-made clear, hard plastic appliance that fits over the upper or lower teeth will be designed from models of your teeth. Worn at night, your appliance prevents the top and bottom molars from making contact and alleviates the pressure that grinding causes on the teeth and jaws. With proper treatment, your symptoms can be relieved, preventing neck, facial and headache pain while protecting and preserving your natural teeth.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD) Affects Your Bite and Your Smile
Certain causes of TMD also may affect your bite. Subsequently, it may impact the longevity of any smile makeover restorations you may want your dentist to provide. At your consultation, if we identify problems such as wear, tooth mobility, muscle pain or other signs of malocclusion, your bite may need to be adjusted.
Ensuring a stable bite is essential to your oral health and the long-term durability and functionality of cosmetic restorations such as dental veneers, dental implants or dental crowns. Additionally, maintaining a stable occlusion and a proper bite helps ensure that your upper and lower teeth will come into contact in the most comfortable and pain-free manner possible. This is without unnecessary force that could lead to headaches or fractured restorations.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD) Conditions:
- Myofascial pain – This is the most common TMJ/TMD condition that involves discomfort and pain in the muscles that control jaw movement.
- Internal derangement – This TMJ/TMD disorder is associated with a displaced disc in the jaw joint, a dislocated jaw or an injury to the condyle, which is the part of the lower jaw that acts like a hinge.
TMJ/TMD causes discomfort that can be corrected with the right treatment. If you are experiencing the symptoms of this disorder, contact Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, and schedule an appointment for an exam and consultation. Get relief from headaches, neck, jaw and facial pain.