When most people think of dental health, they think about their teeth. However, the truth is that in order to maintain oral health long-term, you have to take much more into account. One of the most important components of your maxillofacial structure is your jaw health. If your temporomandibular joints are not healthy, it can greatly impact the quality of your daily life, and it can lead to premature dental damage.
In order to protect your TMJ health, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists recommend that you stay aware of some of the ways that jaw joints commonly become damaged.
Bruxism is one of the leading causes of temporomandibular damage. Chronic dental grinding and clenching puts an enormous amount of pressure on your jaw joints. Over time this can irritate the lining of your TMJ, and even cause your joint to come out of alignment. In order to safeguard your smile, you want to make sure that you seek treatment for bruxism as soon as you notice symptoms. You might find that you’re grinding your teeth during the day, especially in times of stress. Additionally, you might be grinding your teeth as you sleep—if you start to suffer from morning headaches, or you feel soreness in your jaw or back teeth, these could be indicative of nighttime bruxism.
Jaw pain can also develop due to misaligned teeth. If a patient’s bite does not come together naturally and evenly, the top and bottom teeth will slide back and forth in order to find a natural, comfortable “at rest’ position. These issues can be corrected through orthodontic treatment or by building up specific bite surfaces with composite bonding or porcelain crowns.
If you think that you’re struggling with TMJ dysfunction, the sooner that you seek proactive treatment, the better your long-term prognosis. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists can help you get the effective TMJ treatment that you need, so give us a call to learn more!