For many people, when they think about oral health, they think primarily about teeth and gums. However, in reality, all of the parts of your smile, including bone structure, are interconnected. This is why it’s so important to be mindful about jaw health, and stay alert for signs of TMJ issues, so that you can seek treatment before your smile is compromised. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst TMJ dentists.
How and why do jaw problems develop?
There are a number of potential causes of jaw dysfunction. Sometimes jaw damage is the result of a discrete injury—like a bike or sporting accident. In these cases, it’s pretty clear that the jaw joint is injured, and it is crucial that you undergo treatment so that ill-effects do not linger. Other causes of TMJ problems are subtler. Uneven teeth for example, will put strain on your bite, and cause structural problems. Also, people who suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, often deal with jaw damage as a result.
What are some common symptoms of TMJ damage?
Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may be chronic or they may come and go. Regardless, you should speak to your dental team if you notice:
- A popping or clicking sensation when you chew
- Jaw pain or discomfort
- Limited jaw mobility: some people are able to feel their jaws “lock” when they try to open their mouths all of the way
- That you are unconsciously altering your bite to compensate for jaw dysfunction
How does Dr. Scharfenberg treat TMJ problems?
Effective TMJ treatment begins with identifying the underlying cause of jaw dysfunction. Our dental team always matches the treatment to the root source of jaw damage. If, for example, a poorly aligned bite is putting strain your temporomandibular joints, then orthodontic treatment or customized restorations can help alleviate this pressure. Patients who suffer from bruxism may benefit from protective dental appliances.
TMJ problems can be effectively and comfortably treated by our Elmhurst TMJ dentists. Please, don’t hesitate to contact our team to schedule a personal consultation!