Do you have frequent and significant pain in your head, shoulders, and neck, combined with popping or clicking sounds in your jaw, and find it difficult to open or move your jaw in a normal range? You might be suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD, often mistakenly known as TMJ). This disorder can lead to a lot of pain, and even difficulty eating, so it’s important that you get the treatment you need!
It’s important to find a dentist who will screen regularly for TMD, like Bow Trail Dental does. We’ll regularly ask you if you find yourself grinding your teeth, if your jaw is clicking or popping, and we’ll check how your jaws range of motion compares to a normal range. Regular screening means that we can catch symptoms of TMD early and treatment is likely to be simpler and more effective.
It is very common to have both TMD and bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. The most common treatment is to use a stabilizing appliance, which we fabricate here at Bow Trail Dental. Appliances may offer different levels of coverage and stiffness, but the most commonly prescribed are complete coverage stabilizing devices. These cover all of your upper or lower teeth and will not shift your teeth or change your bite. They can help to relieve the strain on your jaw related to TMD and bruxism, letting the muscles relax. Using a partial coverage or repositioning appliance is likely to cover fewer of your teeth and may be designed to reposition your teeth if you have a poor bite and need a larger adjustment instead of just protection.
Phase One of Treatment
Treating tooth grinding and TMD is quite similar since the first phase of treatment is generally the use of a mouth guard. However, stabilizing appliances for TMJ disorders are always rigid and are precisely calibrated for your mouth’s particular needs. Do not order night guards online if you have a TMJ disorder: you need your dentist to help you with the most precise solution possible for your needs!
Phase Two of Treatment
Phase two of TMD treatment may be needed once the worst of the problem is resolved using the repositioning appliance. This phase might include steps like reshaping the surfaces of your teeth that are used for biting; orthodontics for more repositioning; and possibly surgery if teeth and jaw bones need even more severe adjustments.
At Bow Trail Dental, we screen for TMD and fabricate stabilizing appliances for tooth grinding and TMJ disorders. This means that we can get you well on your way to resolving most of your TMJ issues should you have them! However, we can also assist you with referrals to a specialist should you desire or require it.