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Do you grind your teeth at night or clinch them during the day? Do you often get head and neck pain, have sore jaws while chewing, or hear pops or clicks in your jaw joints? temporomandibular joint disorder (tmj or tmd), also referred to as TMJ or TMD Disorder, affects the quality of life of many people. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD) involves conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and nerves on one or both sides of the head that result in jaw, face, and head and neck pain.As a prosthodontist, we are experts at TMJ or TMD treatment.
TMJ or TMD Disorder is the source of chronic pain for many people. These symptoms occur for a reason: an unbalanced bite where the upper and lower jaws meet. Pain isn’t the only side effect, TMJ or TMD Disorder will wear down, chip and break the teeth due to the improper alignment of your bite. Fortunately, treatment is available to restore your optimal relaxed jaw position and alleviate the discomforts of bite misalignment.
Teeth grinding and clinching is a subconscious muscle activity. TMJ sufferers grind without realizing it, until a symptom such as a fragmented tooth, facial pain, headaches or soreness occurs. Left untreated, TMJ can result in severe wear or fracturing of your teeth. Fractured and worn teeth can lead to costly and lengthy treatments.
Neuromuscular dentistry is the science of finding a person’s optimal relaxed jaw position (their correct bite) and then devising treatments to make it permanent, thus eliminating symptoms and discomfort. The most common treatment for TMJ disorder includes wearing an oral appliance designed especially for you.
A custom-made clear, hard plastic appliance that fits over the upper or lower teeth will be designed from models of your teeth. Worn at night, your appliance prevents the top and bottom molars from making contact and alleviates the pressure that grinding causes on the teeth and jaws. With proper treatment your symptoms can be relieved, preventing neck pain, facial pain, and headaches while protecting and preserving your natural teeth.
Certain causes of TMD also may affect your bite and subsequently impact the longevity of any smile makeover restorations you may want your dentist to provide. At your consultation if Dr. Zelby identifies problems such as wear, tooth mobility, muscle pain or other signs of malocclusion, your bite may need to be adjusted.
Ensuring a stable bite is essential to your oral health and the long-term durability and functionality of cosmetic restorations such as dental veneers , dental implants or dental crowns. Additionally, maintaining a stable occlusion and a proper bite helps ensure that your upper and lower teeth will come into contact in the most comfortable and pain-free manner possible, without unnecessary force that could lead to headaches or fractured restorations.