Does it hurt to open your mouth?
Does your jaw sometimes lock into place, making it impossible to open or close your mouth?
Do you hear a clicking sound or feel your jaw pop when you open your mouth?
If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). These disorders can cause painful problems for your chewing muscles, the jaw joint (called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ), or both.
What causes TMJ?
One thing that causes TMJ is stress, specifically, teeth grinding and clenching that result from stress. Unfortunately, we’ see more cases of stress-induced TMJ as a result of the stressful society we all live in. Many people who live with chronic stress grind their teeth at night and might be completely unaware of what they’re doing. TMJ can also be caused by excessive gum chewing, misalignment in the teeth and jaw, arthritis, and other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders.
How to tell if you have TMJ or a TMD disorder
It’s not uncommon to experience a sore jaw from time to time. Often, it goes away on its own and isn’t anything to worry about.
With a TMD disorder, though, the pain is severe and negatively impacts your quality of life. Here are some of the symptoms our dentists in South Windsor look for to diagnose a TMD disorder:
Morning jaw stiffness or soreness
Teeth grinding (also called bruxism)
Limited movement or locking of the joint
Ear pain, especially in front of or below the ear
Previous injuries or related conditions, including arthritis
Unusual clicking, grinding, or popping sounds when you open your mouth
Treating TMJ in South Windsor and the surrounding area
Severe teeth grinding can damage your enamel and cause jaw joint inflammation plus gum irritation. Over time, this can lead to tooth and gum decay, creating a whole host of problems.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat TMJ to get you relief and help you form better habits to prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw. Our doctors can prescribe an occlusal orthotic bite splint or “bite guard” to treat your symptoms and prevent further damage from nighttime teeth grinding.
A custom night guard from one of our dentists in South Windsor provides a cushion between the upper and lower teeth. It absorbs the force of the grinding and protects the teeth. It’s similar to the retainers that patients wear after the removal of braces.
All of our night guards are custom made for each patient to ensure maximum effectiveness. It takes two appointments to make a nightguard, the first for the tooth impression, and the second a few weeks later to determine if it needs any adjustments. You’ll wear your night guard at night and can use it for up to 10 years.
Don’t Keep Dealing with Discomfort. Schedule an appointment Us Today
If you’re living with jaw pain or if any of these symptoms sound familiar, call us. Our dentists are happy to test your ability to open and close your jaw, examine other jaw movements, and feel the jaw joint and muscles for pain or tenderness. The dentist will listen for any clicking, popping, or grinding sounds and will feel the jaw joint while you open and close it.
If you are diagnosed with TMD, the good news is that simple self-care practices are highly effective in relieving the discomfort. These include eating soft foods, applying heat or ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements. Effective, conservative treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and oral appliances like a nightguard.
Are you ready to stop living with jaw pain? Call us at 860-648-2848 to make an appointment today
Nighttime tooth grinding causes jaw pain and destroys the surface of your teeth. Severe tooth grinding causes enamel damage, jaw joint inflammation, and irritation to the gums. Custom night guards provide a cushion between the upper and lower teeth. The night guard absorbs the force of the grinding and protects the teeth. A night guard is similar to the retainers that patients wear after the removal of braces.
Night guards are custom made for each patient to ensure maximum effectiveness. It takes two appointments to make a night guard; the first for the tooth impression and the second to determine if any adjustments need to be made after the patient wears it for a couple of weeks. The night guard is worn at night. Night guards are durable and can last up to ten years. Not using a night guard can take ten years off the life of your teeth. Clearly, a night guard is a necessity for those who grind their teeth at night.
Call and make an appointment to be fitted for a night guard today.