Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) create highly damaging and uncomfortable problems with the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull. The TMJ aid in biting and chewing. An injury or any stress to these joints can cause TMD. At Smiles by Mia, we help patients relieve jaw and tooth pain and prevent further wear to their natural smile. We treat TMD in our Burke, VA dental office. Over time, TMJ disorders can cause tooth fractures and wear as well as severe damage to the jaw joints and muscles. Contact our office as soon as you notice TMD symptoms to prevent future complications.
Signs of TMJ Disorders
Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Bruxism: Teeth clenching and grinding, or bruxism, is a highly common and painful sign of TMJ disorders. Patients may experience bruxism during the day if they are under stress or asleep. Sometimes, patients may not realize they have TMD unless they wake up with jaw or tooth pain.
- Tooth Pain and Wear: Patients can feel tooth pain and discover signs of tooth wear because they clench and grind their teeth. Clenching can also cause toothaches.
- Jaw clicking and popping: If your jaw makes noise when you bite and chew, you likely have pressure on your TMJ. TMD can lead to wear and pain in the jaw joints and muscles.
- Headaches: Patients with TMD often experience frequent headaches and migraines, particularly in the morning. If patients experience bruxism at night, that can lead to morning headaches.
How Can I Treat TMD in Burke, VA?
Nightguards are one of the best options for patients who have TMD. These oral appliances are made of hard acrylic that covers the upper or lower arch of teeth—patients with bruxism as a result of their TMD benefit from wearing a nightguard during sleep. A nightguard covers and protects teeth from further wear or damage.
Additionally, the nightguard relieves pressure on the jaw muscles and joints. Because the nightguard is made of hard acrylic, it inhibits chewing on the appliance. Boil-and-bite nightguards are often made of rubbery plastic that only contributes to teeth clenching and grinding. Professionally-made nightguards give the teeth and jaw a rest so patients will not feel pain or soreness when they wake up.
We may also recommend physical therapy for patients with TMJ disorders. During physical therapy, patients learn the best exercises for their jaw, arms, and shoulders. Posture can be a contributing factor that exacerbates TMJ symptoms.
Contact Smiles by Mia for TMJ treatment today at (571) 789-1265. Feel free to schedule a dental consultation online. If you have questions about your symptoms or treatment options, please let Dr. Mia know; she will be glad to help.