When caring for your smile, and creating an oral health plan, it’s crucial to keep in mind that your smile is just one part of your larger maxillofacial system. If one part of your facial structure is damaged or dysfunctional, it can affect everything else. With this in mind, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists strongly encourage patients to seek treatment for TMJ issues in a prompt manner.
Your temporomandibular joints are the joints on either side of your face that connect your lower jaw to your skull. When your temporomandibular joints are functioning well, you’re able to open and close your jaw, and chew comfortably. On the other hand, damaged TMJs can make it difficult for you to go through your daily routine easily and comfortably.
It’s important to stay alert for signs of TMJ problems, including:
- Jaw pain around the temporomandibular joint, this pain may radiate up the head to the ear and forehead areas
- A clicking or popping sensation when you move your jaw
- Limited jaw mobility, you may feel that your lower jaw is “locking” when you try to bite or chew
- Changes to your bite, your teeth may actually be shifting along your gum line, and/or you may be altering the way the way that you bite and chew in order to baby your temporomandibular joints
- Chronic dental clenching, this dental issue, often referred to as bruxism, often occurs concomitantly with TMJ problems. Dental grinding can cause TMJ issues, and likewise TMJ problems can exacerbate tooth grinding.
Our dental team treats TMJ problems with non-invasive, patient-friendly mouth guards. These customized oral appliances help to guide the patient’s lower jaw into position. By wearing a mouth guard at night, patients can relieve stress and pressure on their jaw joints, while protecting their teeth.
If you think that you may be dealing with TMJ problems, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to help you achieve complete and lasting relief. Give us a call to get started!