TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and TMD or Temporomandibular Disorder occur when the place where you lower jaw hinges from your skull or your jaw point is injured or inflamed. TMJ and TMD are usually diagnosed after you start experiencing a clicking, popping, or rustling in the jaw. TMJ and TMD cause serious pain and lead to a many other health complications, which include the following:
- Swelling of the face and/or jaw
- Problems chewing
- Tired jaw
- Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
- Face, jaw, neck and/or shoulder pain
- Nerve issues which cause numbness in the face or fingertips
- Bruxism or clenching and grinding of teeth
- Dislocation of cushioning disc
Edgerton and Glenn also offer unique dental solutions such as invisalign for you cosmetic dental needs. Schedule an appointment today.
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1426 Commonwealth Dr. Suite A, Wilmington, NC 28403
Different Types of TMJ Problems
TMJ disorders are generally classified into three categories:
- Muscle related problems or myogenous TMJ. These are the most common of TMJ/TMD and is categorized by the discomfort in the jaw, neck or shoulder, and temple. For most patients with this category, the jaw, neck or shoulder, and temple pain are most acutely noticed when waking up. The most effective treatment for this muscle related category is regular use of a custom fit night guard.
- Jaw joint generated pain is the category which is caused by internal derangement of the joint itself. Whether you have a dislocated jaw or a displaced cushioning disc within the joint, you will find relief once the irregularity with your TMJ is addressed. Some people even suffer from jaw joint related pain due to an injury to the condyles, or the part of the jaw bone that fits in the jaw joint.
- Degenerative joint disease, usually categorized as arthritis, is one of the long term results. Whether rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis is causing your joint degeneration, medical intervention is your best bet to find relief.
Medical intervention offers the best forms of treatment, but the best results occur when the problems are addressed by a dentist quickly.
TMJ and TMD Linked to Stress
Blunt trauma to the face, arthritis, and stress and anxiety levels are all the common instigating factors with patients struggling with TMJ or TMD. The links have yet to be scientifically proven, but the correlation of TMJ and TMD to professionals with high stress careers, such as lawyers, consultants, physicians, etc. cannot be either ignored or denied. Individuals who are more prone to stress and anxiety are also more likely to experience TMJ or TMD.
Treating TMJ and TMD
Depending on the cause, sometimes adjusting an individual’s bite will result in effective resolution of the disorder. Over time, certain bites may be so compromised that rebuilding the teeth using several strategic veneers or crowns can result in relief. Some of the more serious cases require a surgical intervention. The most common way to treat TMJ and TMD are custom fit night guards, but night guards are helpful for a variety of jaw problems. The most obvious advantage is the prevention of further damage to your teeth and jaw which leads to improvements in your overall oral health.
More on Bruxism
Bruxism is a specific spasm of your jaw muscles causing your jaw to clench or your teeth to grind. It is an unconscious muscle contraction that can occur any time but usually at night. Bruxism creates extreme discomfort and leads to headaches, jaw pain, and general mouth sensitivity. When you are grinding your teeth and clenching, you can end up causing damage which leads to serious dental bills to repair and restore your teeth. With all the unintentional clenching and grinding, you may even chip or crack a tooth which requires more dental treatments including tooth replacement options, dental bonding, dental crowns, and veneers.
While bruxism does not only occur at night, one of the best ways to control the spasms at night is with a night guard. You will find you are more comfortable after wearing the night guard and your teeth and jaw safe while you are sleeping. Please make an appointment to have a consultation with the dentist to discuss other treatment options if you think you are suffering from bruxism.
Aftercare for TMJ and Bruxism Treatments
During the days and weeks following the more invasive appointments, eating softer foods will keep you comfortable. Once the healing process takes hold, you can gradually include harder and more abrasive foods. Once your dentist has completed your treatment and you are fully healed with your new night guard in use, you need to take care of your teeth and your jaw to keep your overall health strong.
Night Guard Maintenance
Once you have invested in a custom made night guard and are taking care to wear it every night, there are some suggestions to follow so you can continue to benefit from the night guard.
- Brush your night guard with toothpaste every night
- Wash your hands before you touch your night guard to prevent the spread of bacteria
- Allow your night guard to dry before you store it to prevent the growth of bacteria
- Use an antibacterial solution to quickly rinse your night guard
You should not:
- Smoke while wearing your night guard
- Soak your night guard in rubbing alcohol
- Drink anything other than water while wearing your night guard
High Quality Care You Can Trust
At Edgerton & Glenn Cosmetic and General Dentistry. We strive to build relationships with our patients. You are more than just teeth, you are our patient and friend and we want to help you to achieve and maintain oral health as best we can. We look forward to meeting you and talking about what is best for you and your mouth. Please contact us to set up a TMJ/TMD or Bruxism appointment at (910) 256-9230.
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