Do you ever wake up with a headache, facial pain, or a sore jaw? You’re not alone as there are more than 10 million people in America who experience similar problems due to a condition called TMJ. This problem usually occurs when you grind or clench your teeth excessively. It doesn’t just compromise the integrity of your teeth, but can also damage the temporomandibular joint.
At Peters Family Dentistry, we have helped many patients with TMJ and related sleep disorders. It can be challenging to overcome this problem, but we know how to help patients with TMJ and related sleep problems regain their quality of life.
If you want an experienced and reliable dentist for your TMJ/TMD treatment, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us. Our expert dentist will examine your condition carefully and determine the best solution for your problem.
What Is TMJ/TMD?
The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the upper part of the skull. The joint is located right under the ears and controls the movements of your mouth. Everything from biting and chewing to speaking is facilitated by this joint.
If this joint is compromised or experiences any kind of damage, it is called temporomandibular dysfunction. This dysfunction is actually a series of different conditions that have an impact on the jaw function as well as the muscles supporting the bone.
What Are The Causes?
While there are many concerns connected to TMD, the exact cause of this dysfunction isn’t known. The biggest contributing factors include the teeth, jaw bones, connected muscles, and connected ligaments. All of these factors can cause TMD over an extended period of time. Other factors include:
- Improper Occlusion – The upper and lower sets of teeth should fit in perfectly with one another. This causes microtrauma to the temporomandibular joint, especially if the problem isn’t addressed quickly and allowed to linger over an extended period of time.
- Direct Injury – A direct injury to the joints can cause trauma and lead to TMD. Any kind of strain or damage can cause both pain and extensive stress to the surrounding muscles.
- Stress – People often grind their teeth and clench their jaw when they’re stressed or experiencing any kind of emotional or physical strain. For example, if you sustain a painful cut, it is natural to clench your teeth in response to the hurt. Your teeth won’t experience too much damage if this happens only once in a while. But if you’re under constant stress and clenching your teeth regularly, this can lead to TMD.
- Sleep – Some people also grind or clench their teeth during sleep. This is a sleep disorder and can compromise the quality of life. It can also take a toll on your teeth and the temporomandibular joints.
These are just some of the many causes that lead to TMJ. Our dentist will consider of all your symptoms carefully and examine the state of your teeth to determine the best course of action for this problem.
What are the Signs of TMJ?
Most people don’t really know much about TMJ and related sleep disorders. They either ignore the signs leading to the problem or don’t know TMJ might be a cause. Here are some symptoms that you need to keep an eye on:
- Not being able to open your mouth comfortably.
- Uncomfortable or unusual bite.
- Ringing in the ears and eventual hearing problems.
- Chronic headaches.
- Pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Any kind of clicking or grating noise coming from the jaw.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to book an appointment with us immediately. Our experienced dentist will be able to find the root cause of the problem and provide effective treatments.
The treatment often includes a thorough examination through MRI, X-rays, and visual inspection. Our dentist will look at your temporomandibular joints, neck, and face before coming up with a diagnosis.
If you have problems with the temporomandibular joint and related sleeping issues, get in touch with Peters Family Dentistry today. We’ll be happy to help.