East Gwillimbury dentist explains symptoms and treatments for TMJ disorder
Think about all of the ways you use your jaw every day: in addition to using it to chew all of your meals and snacks, you also use it to speak throughout the day, smile, yawn, and make facial expressions to communicate with others. The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are the joints that help your jaw perform its many functions throughout your life, and a variety of issues can lead to pain and inflammation in these joints in a condition called TMJ disorder. At Harvest Hills Dental Care in East Gwillimbury, ON, our team of dentists is here to help diagnose and treat this common condition to get you out of pain and back to enjoying the things you love.
Causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder
TMJ disorder can be caused by a number of factors and can manifest in different ways in different people. In some people, the underlying cause is not clearly identifiable, but other common factors that can contribute to TMJ disorder include:
- Traumatic injury to the mouth or joint
- Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- A bite that is improperly aligned (malocclusion)
- Arthritis of the join
- Behavior patterns such as poor posture or chewing on ice, gum, or hard objects
While some people experience symptoms that are clearly associated with their jaw, such as clicking, popping, or grinding sounds and pain in the joint, other symptoms of TMJ disorder might not be as easily recognizable. During our evaluation, we look for issues such as:
- Headaches that occur frequently
- Pain in your jaw, neck, ears, or shoulders
- Tight jaw muscles
- The sensation of a “locked” jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Uneven wear and tear on your teeth
- A misaligned bite
- Missing teeth
- Dental restorations that are fractured or worn down
Treating TMJ disorder
Our dental team customizes your TMJ treatment plan based on a thorough evaluation of your unique situation so that you can get the relief you need. For example, an orthodontic device may be recommended when misalignment of your teeth and jaw is causing your symptoms, whereas an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep may be if grinding and clenching is the underlying reason for the disorder. Behavioral therapies, replacing dental restorations, replacing missing teeth, and other treatments designed based on your specific needs may also be recommended.
To schedule your TMJ evaluation at Harvest Hills Dental Care, call our East Gwillimbury, ON office today at (365) 659-1008!
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