Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, occurs when a person experiences chronic jaw pain and tenderness. This condition is often the result of teeth grinding (bruxism) or jaw misalignment.
At Gulf Coast Dental, our dentist can often correct TMJ with an oral appliance, such as a mouth guard, if adequately diagnosed. This appliance is worn at night and prevents the jaw muscles and teeth from grinding and clenching.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ is the result of several things. The leading causes of TMJ are malocclusion, a bad bite, bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Gum disease may cause TMJ. This happens when inflammation in the gums causes them to pull away from the teeth. Over time, this can cause the teeth to move out of their proper alignment.
TMJ disorders can cause a lot of pain and difficulty for people. Jaw pain is one of the most common signs of TMJ. It’s triggered when one of the joints in the jaw slips out of place or becomes misaligned. The most common symptom of TMJ is a pain in the jaw, but there can be other symptoms, including headaches, ear pain, and facial pain.
TMJ Treatment Options
Diagnosing TMJ can be complex, and treatment options will vary from one patient to the next. That said, there are a variety of treatment methods available.
The most common treatment for TMJ is oral appliance therapy, which consists of two components: an oral appliance and an adjustment period. The oral appliance looks like an athletic mouth guard and helps prevent teeth grinding. The adjustment period takes 3 to 6 weeks, and patients must always wear their appliances. Once this period has passed, patients will wear their devices at night only.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint which connects the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. The collective can shift out of place, causing it to be misaligned, and causing problems with chewing, speaking, and headaches. If nonsurgical approaches do not help to correct TMJ, then surgery is recommended to fix the misalignment permanently. TMJ surgery is recommended when joint problems do not respond to nonsurgical approaches, such as medications or physical therapy.
How Can I Prevent TMJ?
To prevent TMJ, you should wear a night guard at night. This mouthguard will help to keep your jaw in a neutral position while you sleep. People who grind their teeth at night may need a mouthguard. In addition to a mouthguard, you should practice good posture. Poor posture can lead to TMJ issues, so stand and sit straight.
Gulf Coast Dental can be found at 3101 West Michigan Ave. Suite F, Pensacola, FL 32526, or call (850) 944-5515 for the ideal dental services.