Do you suffer from chronic pain in your jaw and face, experience popping sounds when you chew and talk, or have symptoms such as headaches or lockjaw? If so, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, a common condition affecting more than 10 million individuals in the United States, alone. And, though many people suffer from this condition, few seek solutions from their dentist, unaware that their wide array of painful symptoms are linked to oral health.
How TMJ disorder affects your jaw and teeth
The temporomandibular joints are small joints that connect the jaw and skull. Though there is debate regarding the exact causes of TMJ disorder, it is often speculated that pressure on these small joints is one contributing factor. Potential causes and risk factors for this added stress include bruxism (teeth grinding), jaw clenching, malocclusion (a bad bite), airway issues, and jaw injury. These factors can lead to problems over time. While TMJ disorder leads to sinus headaches, jaw locking and popping, migraines, neck and shoulder stiffness, jaw pain, and earaches, the risk factors and causes of TMJ disorder can also result in the teeth and jaw sustaining damage over time.
Because leaving TMJ disorder untreated can lead to tooth cracks, erosion, and pain, it is important for sufferers to communicate with their healthcare providers and dentist to receive adequate treatment as early as possible. There are a number of interventions that can ease the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorder, ranging from invasive surgeries, to nighttime bite guards, to dental sleep appliances, and more. At Bowen Legacy Dental, we use a variety of gentle treatments to target the underlying causes of your TMJ disorder and effectively treat your pain with minimal invasiveness. For instance, if a bad bite is causing your jaw to clench or teeth to grind chronically, orthodontic treatments, like Invisalign® may be the most effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of your TMJ pain.
Because each patient’s oral and jaw health differs, we will tackle your TMJ disorder with a custom treatment plan that holistically considers your unique health needs and anatomy. If you are interested in learning more about our advanced treatments for TMJ disorder, call us today to schedule an appointment.