Many people grind and clench their teeth. These parafunctional habits can create headaches and tenderness of the jaw muscles and joints. Although stress is often a factor, these symptoms are usually related to problems with the jaw muscles and the jaw, or TM (Temporomandibular) Joint a condition known as TMJ or TMD.
Dr. Weinstock and Dr. Waasdorp have years of experience treating complex TMJ cases. After a thorough oral health exam and analysis of your bite, Dr. David J. Weinstock or Dr. Jonathan Waasdorp will make recommendations for the most effective course of treatment to relieve the symptoms of TMJ.
WHAT CAUSES TMJ
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons and are often the result of several issues with your jaw and bite. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM Joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Crooked teeth can also cause stress on the jaw and result in TMJ.
TMJ SYMPTOMS & SIGNS
Whatever the cause, the results may include excessive tooth wear, chronic headaches, clicking or grinding noises in the TM Joint, as well as pain or difficulty in opening or closing one’s mouth. The signs of TMJ dysfunction are unique to the individual, making it a challenge for an untrained clinician to reach a diagnosis. TMJ symptoms also often mask themselves or are similar to those of other medical conditions. Some of the more common signs or symptoms include:
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Locked jaw, difficulty opening the mouth
- Pain when chewing, eating or opening wide
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Soreness or tiredness in the face or jaw
WHAT TO EXPECT
The first step is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of your occlusal system and an analysis of your bite. This includes the teeth, gums and jaw joints. Our goal is to pinpoint the underlying cause of your bite dysfunction to help relieve your symptoms and improve your overall oral health. Dr. Weinstock or Dr. Waasdorp may also notice the signs of a bite problem during routine dental exams, such as worn down, cracked or damaged teeth.
TMJ disorders are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past thanks to advancements in dental technology. TMJ can often lead to more serious oral health conditions and early detection and treatment are important. No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely. Dr. Weinstock or Dr. Waasdorp will build a personalized treatment plan that addresses individual issues dependent on the cause of the TMJ pain.
ORAL SLEEP APPLIANCE
Oral sleep appliances are much like sports mouthguards. Custom designed to fit each patient, the oral sleep appliance is discreet and comfortable. The plastic mouthpiece is worn during sleep to help patients stop grinding their teeth. The device also protects teeth from further wear or damage associated with constant teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
Patients who wear the oral sleep appliance often feel more rested after a full night's sleep and experience fewer headaches associated with TMJ. Dr. Weinstock or Dr. Waasdorp can fit and fabricate your custom sleep device at our Devon dentist office for your convenience.