When Does A Smile Need TMJ Treatment?

richfield tmj treatment

We recently looked at bruxism and how teeth grinding damages your smile. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist wants to take a close look at another serious jaw joint disorder known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. Treatment could help bring relief for jaw pain or headaches! 

The Causes of TMD Troubles

The issue occurs when the joints that connect your jaw and skull, known as temporomandibular joints, become strained. The strain could be caused by injury to the face or jaw, malocclusion, tooth loss, misalignment, untreated bruxism (teeth grinding), or high levels of stress. The disorder impacts howe our bite fits together, and could lead to serious discomfort. Common warning signs include headaches, migraines, jaw and facial aches, and pain in the neck or shoulders. A popping or clicking sensation in the jaw is commonly reported too, as are toothaches and tooth sensitivity due to bruxism. 

The Impact on Your Smile

Without treatment, this could alter how your bite fits together, causing difficulty or pain when you open and close your mouth. If you also grind your teeth, as bruxism could develop due to untreated TMD, this could wear down outer structure and even crack or chip a tooth. So your smile not only aches, but is now more susceptible to tooth decay and dental infection too. In order to enjoy a comfortable smile and avoid these complications, you should see us right away when you encounter the symptoms we’ve discussed. We will carefully examine the smile with digital x-rays and intraoral camera technology, creating a diagnosis with accuracy and precision. 

Treatment Options

How do we treat this disorder? That depends on the factors behind your case of TMD. For some, we could improve overall balance by placing dental crowns or through dental contouring. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or aligners, could correct misalignment to ease the pressure on your smile. We could also discuss prosthetics like bridges, dentures, and dental implants to fill gaps in the smile.

But the most common solution is an oral appliance. The device is created based on detailed images taken of your smile and custom-fitted. Worn like a mouthguard as you sleep, this corrects the position of the jaw to ease tension and prevent further symptoms, so you enjoy relief from orofacial pain. If you have any questions about how we diagnose and treat issues like TMJ disorder, then contact our team today to learn more. 

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Our team wants to restore balance and comfort to your smile to offer solutions for TMJ troubles. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact your Richfield, MN, dentist, Dr. Keller, by calling (612) 861-7188.