Patients who live with TMJ dysfunction deal with day to day inconveniences and discomforts. At the same time, these patients are at an increased risk of developing of additional oral health problems down the road. That is why our Elmhurst dentists strongly recommend that patients seek prompt treatment for TMJ issues. Keep reading to learn more!
Your temporomandibular joints are the joints on either side of your skull that connect your lower jaw to the rest of your maxillofacial structure. These joints are vitally important; they allow you to speak, chew, and emote naturally and comfortably.
Sometimes, these joints become damaged, irritated, or inflamed. This may occur due to discrete dental trauma or accidents, or it may develop over time due to structural problems with the smile.
If, for example, your top and bottom teeth do not come together naturally and evenly, this can put an immense amount of pressure on your TMJs. Many people who develop TMJ dysfunction also suffer from bruxism (chronic dental grinding and clenching).
In order to successfully treat TMJ problems, our dental team first assesses the patient’s smile in order to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Depending on the results of this assessment, we may recommend that you use orthodontic treatment, dental bonding, or customized restorations in order to bring your smile into balance.
We can also craft customized oral appliances to relieve pressure on the TMJs. These mouth guards are designed to be worn at night, and they guide the lower jaw into a healthy position, so that the top and bottom teeth can come together in a healthy way.
At the same time, these oral appliances help to protect the patient’s teeth from damage related to dental grinding. Chronic tooth-on-tooth contact will weaken the patient’s dental enamel over time, and leave the patient susceptible to developing cracks, chips, and cavities.
Every bruxism case is different, and you may benefit from using one treatment or a number of solutions in combination. The best way to get started is to contact our Elmhurst TMJ dentists for an assessment. We’re here to help you get all of the information and support that you need to achieve and maintain a healthy smile. We look forward to speaking with you!