While the condition of your teeth and gums are essential to your oral health, what most people aren’t aware of is that your jaw is an important part of the equation as well. A healthy jaw joint (or TMJ) allows you to freely move your mouth whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn. However, if you develop a TMJ disorder, or TMD, this could lead to jaw pain, frequent headaches, earaches, and even neck, shoulder, and back pain. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, you can actually have them taken care of right here at Springs Dental Care. Just give us a call, and we’ll provide the relief you need.
A TMD can be caused by numerous factors, but the most common ones tend to be stress, injury, arthritis, and a slight misalignment of the bite. When the jaw joint is in distress, this can cause tension in the facial muscles that radiates throughout your body, which is why TMD is one of the leading causes of migraines! When you come to see us, we’ll check on the health of these joints every time, and if we see an issue, we can prescribe one of the treatments below to address it.
Even a slight misalignment of the bite can cause the jaw to make minor adjustments whenever you open and close your mouth, and this can actually put a lot of strain on the joint over time, leading to TMD symptoms. To correct this issue, we’ll first determine how a patient’s teeth should come together, and then we’ll gently reshape a few teeth to fix the misalignment. This will allow the jaw joints to move properly without any adjustments, which should relieve any TMD-associated pain.
We can also address TMJ issues using an orthopedic mouthpiece called an occlusal splint. A patient will only need to wear this to bed, and it works by slightly shifting the jaw into a more natural and relaxed orientation. This will allow the muscles and joints to heal themselves and “learn” how they should correctly sit. This kind of mouthpiece can also help patients with one of the most common symptoms of TMD: nighttime teeth grinding, or bruxism.