Do you suffer from frequent headaches? Does your jaw pop or click when speaking and/or eating? Do you wake up with ear, neck or jaw pain?
These symptoms can often be the sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), commonly known as TMJ, which stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension.
Your dentist at Millennium Smiles in Frisco, TX will thoroughly examine all aspects of your occlusal system (teeth, gums, jaw joints and muscles) to look for signs of imbalance or instability that can be the underlying cause of your dental problem. In many cases, worn or damaged teeth indicate the probability of teeth grinding, a common sign of a bite disorder such as TMJ.
Left untreated, bite problems like TMJ can often compromise the results of any dentistry you may receive and even lead to tooth loss.
TMJ Therapy: What To Expect
Millennium Smiles offers a range of treatment options to address TMJ, including recommending lifestyle changes to reduce stress that may trigger teeth grinding and jaw clenching- two common signs of a bite problem. The goal is always to reduce the pain and disruption associated with symptoms and to restore healthy balance to the bite for lasting oral health. Depending on your dental health needs, options can include:
Mouth guard or splint therapy: a custom mouth guard or splint is often a conservative first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position.
Bite correction: bite correction is designed to bring the teeth into proper contact through restorative dental treatments. This allows the jaw to open and close in its proper position and eliminates stress on the jaw joints.
Orthodontics: in some cases, orthodontia to straighten misaligned teeth is recommended to restore balance to the bite.