TMJ disorder impacts millions of smiles, and could be a source of serious discomfort and some major oral health complications. Which is why when symptoms arise, we want to offer solutions with oral appliance therapy. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist talks about treating your TMJ symptoms to improve your oral health.
The Causes of TMJ Disorder
What causes TMJ disorder to develop? Essentially, any factor that upsets the balance of the bite and strains the jaw joints could be a factor. For example, tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, complications with the growth and development of the jaw and key oral structures, misalignment, or untreated teeth grinding could be potential causes. This could be exacerbated by biting on pens and pencils, eating chewy or hard foods, and high levels of stress in your daily life.
The First Signs of Trouble
Symptoms could include a popping or clicking sensation in your jaw, chronic headaches or migraines, jaw and facial pain, or if you grind your teeth, toothaches and tooth sensitivity. As the issue grows more severe, you could be more likely to experience difficulty fully opening and closing your mouth too. When these symptoms arrive, please let us know right away. We will use advanced imaging technology to make clear and detailed images of your teeth, which we use to plan treatment and design an oral appliance if necessary.
For some, we could use braces or clear aligners to shift the teeth into proper position, treating malocclusion and bringing relief to the smile. We could also help improve the balance of the bite with the placement of one or more dental crowns too. You could ease discomfort with a warm washcloth against the side of the face to reduce swelling, and by avoiding caffeinated products, or hard and chewy foods/snacks.
But the most common solution is an oral appliance. We craft and custom-fit this device by taking clear and detailed images of your smile with digital technology, and creating a 3D impression. We then design and craft an oral appliance that fits like a mouthguard and is worn as you sleep. The device actually repositions the jaw to ease strain and stress, so you avoid painful symptoms during the day. If you grind your teeth, this also places a barrier between your upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage. If you have any questions, then give us a call today.
Do You Have Any Questions About General Dentistry?
We’re ready to ease strain and pressure in your smile and bring relief. If you have any questions about restoring balance to your smile and jaw joints, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact your Richfield, MN, dentist, Dr. Keller, by calling (612) 861-7188.