Do you wake up with jaw and tooth pain? You may have a TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw and skull is injured. An uneven bite, cartilage damage from arthritis, and stress can put pressure on the jaw and cause pain in the facial muscles. Sometimes discomfort caused by TMJ can go away on its own, but painful dental symptoms can still develop. Our Waterford dental team provides TMJ treatment as a restorative dental solution to patients in Leland, NC. We treat TMJ disorders to alleviate jaw and facial pain and restore the look and function of the smile.
Common Signs of TMJ
Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Facial pain
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Severe toothaches
- Difficulty chewing
- Migraines or headaches
Contact our office if you have noticed any of these symptoms. We will help you find the right treatment for your specific needs. Please call us if you suddenly notice these symptoms so we may address them before they worsen. Our custom treatment plans ensure that we can target the cause of your dental problems and provide a comfortable and effective solution.
What Causes TMJ
There are many different things that can contribute to the development of TMJ disorders. Stress is one of the most common causes. Stress causes us to grind or clench our teeth frequently, without even realizing that we’re doing it. These actions put pressure on the jaw joint and can wear down or damage the cartilage that helps it to move smoothly. Arthritis can damage this cartilage as well.
Trauma to the jaw can impact the alignment of the jaw. An uneven bite is another prominent cause of TMJ. The jaw joint doesn’t move smoothly because it’s not lined up, causing pain and impacting the function. When your teeth don’t come together properly, the pressure doesn’t evenly distribute over your bite. Your teeth may wear down more prematurely in some places, or become cracked or broken because they’re taking on too much pressure.
Oral appliances, or night guards, can be worn to stop bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ. Worn during the night, oral appliances keep the teeth from wearing down or causing tooth or jaw pain. They also help to alleviate pressure on the jaw.
Severe TMJ disorders may cause fractured, worn, broken, or otherwise damaged teeth. We offer dental crowns and tooth bonding to improve the appearance and strength of teeth. If damaged teeth need to be removed, we can replace them with natural-looking dental bridges.
In some instances, aligning your bite may be the best option to take care of your TMJ symptoms. We may refer you to an orthodontist to assist you in straightening out your smile.
TMJ Disorder FAQs
How long does TMJ take to resolve?
On average, TMJ treatment may last anywhere from 18 months and 3 years. Massages and stretches for your jaw and neck can help alleviate symptoms while undergoing treatment. Patients should be patient while treating TMJ because it can be a lengthy treatment.
Why Is TMJ worse at night?
At night patients are more likely to grind your teeth and clench your jaw, which may magnify your TMJ. This is because as your body works to keep your airway open while you sleep, you may clench your teeth at night.
What is the best position to sleep in with TMJ?
TMJ symptoms might get worse by sleeping on your side. TMJ pain is very common, especially if you sleep with your head and neck out of alignment. Sleeping on your back is the greatest posture for those with TMJ because it keeps your head and neck in the proper position while sleeping.
Do you suffer from frequent headaches, tooth damage, jaw popping, or facial pain? Treat TMJ disorders in our Waterford, North Carolina dental office. Call Waterford Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today at 910-519-1624. You can also request a consultation with our dental team on our website.