TMJ disorder and dysfunction affects a large number of adult dental patients. Unfortunately, many people do not seek treatment for TMJ issues, because they don’t realize what they’re dealing with!
That is why today our Elmhurst dentists are going to be talking about the emergence of TMJ issues. We hope that this short article helps you feel more comfortable reaching out for treatment if you develop TMJ problems.
Your temporomandibular joints attach your bottom jaw to your skull; these joints allow you to move your jaw vertically and horizontally.
Temporomandibular joints can become damaged for a number of reasons, including:
· Accident or trauma—contact sports, biking accidents, and care accidents can all lead to TMJ damage
· Bruxism—chronic dental grinding and clenching puts immense pressure the patient’s temporomandibular joints. Over time, this can lead to TMJ deterioration and inflammation.
· Poor dental alignment—if your smile is misaligned, and your top and bottom teeth do not come together evenly and naturally, this poor bite alignment can damage your TMJs.
If you notice any of these common signs of TMJ dysfunction, please reach out to your dental team for assistance:
· Pain and tenderness near the temporomandibular joint
· A popping sensation in the jaw when you chew or speak
· Chronic headaches
· Ear pain, or a ringing sensation in the ears
· Head, neck and/or shoulder pain
· Jaw “locking,” which prevents you from opening your mouth all the way
The sooner that you seek treatment for TMJ issues, the better the long-term prognosis. There are effective treatments available, including unobtrusive mouth pieces that patients where at night. These mouthpieces help to guide the jaw into a healthy position. Your dental team may also recommend that you refine your dental alignment using cosmetic dentistry, if this is the underlying cause of your TMJ issues.
As always, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to provide you with any additional information and guidance that you may need.