Do you have frequent headaches, jaw pain or experience difficulty chewing?
These are a few of the signs and symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), commonly referred to as TMJ. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is the connector for the lower mandible and the skull. It facilitates chewing, speaking and normal oral function. If the joint has become damaged or is constrained by muscle tension, the result is often discomfort and decreased function. Also considered a bite disorder, TMJ can impact your daily quality of life if symptoms become more pronounced or the joint becomes significantly damaged. TMJ can also be the cause of cracked teeth and worn teeth as a result of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, a frequent component of a bite problem.
Corbin Dental offers diagnosis and treatment for TMJ disorders and can help you restore a healthy, functional bite and reduce pain and discomfort. Drs. Richard and Bruce Corbin are experienced general and restorative dentists who provide personalized dental care for the unique needs and goals of the individual patient. Treatment for a TMJ disorder will not only reduce symptoms but also supports your long term oral health and wellness.
TMJ and Teeth Grinding: Recognizing the Signs
In addition to the above-mentioned signs of TMJ, there are other signs and symptoms that can indicate a bite disorder or dysfunction in the TMJ. Addressing your concerns as soon as possible can often mean that a conservative treatment approach will be successful.
- Jaws that ache or feel tired
- Ear pain, feeling of fullness in the ears
- Neck and shoulder pain or tension, especially in the morning
- Teeth that appear flat or worn
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Clicking or popping jaw, especially when chewing or yawning
Many of these symptoms are noticed in the morning if teeth grinding is taking place while sleeping. Patients are often unaware that they are grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw as it typically occurs during sleep or subconsciously when stressed. Our dental team looks for the signs of teeth grinding during routine dental exams and can offer treatment options and advice for mitigating damage and addressing symptoms.
Treating TMJ: What are the Options?
Treatment for a bite problem such as TMJ will vary from patient to patient. The goal of treatment is to identify and address the underlying cause of the problem to resolve damage and alleviate symptoms. There are a range of treatments that can be used alone or in tandem to achieve treatment goals and get you back to smiling comfortably again.
- Muscle relaxation techniques: for mild cases of TMJ, our dental team may work with you to practice muscle relaxation techniques that can reduce tension in the jaw over time.
- Mouthguard or splint therapy: a custom mouthguard, also called a nightguard, is designed to reposition the jaw so it can relax in a natural position and the teeth will make proper contact.
- Restorative procedures: if teeth have been chipped, cracked or worn we may recommend tooth bonding, dental crowns or dental veneers to restore and resurface the teeth and allow them to make contact without stress.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion is the underlying cause of a bite disorder, orthodontics may be recommended to straighten teeth and rebalance the bite.
Schedule A TMJ Consultation
If you would like to discuss your concerns and receive a thorough dental exam and evaluation of your oral health schedule an appointment in our Bayside, Jackson Heights or Oyster Bay offices. We welcome new patients and provide personalized dental care to address your needs.