Are your teeth sensitive? Do you often wake up with a sore jaw or tooth pain? You may have a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders are caused by injury or stress to the temporomandibular joints. These joints connect the jawbone and skull and work with the facial muscles so you can eat and speak properly.
Patients who have TMJ disorders often suffer from facial and jaw pain, clench and grind their teeth, and headaches and migraines. Common risk factors for developing TMJ disorders include arthritis, tooth misalignment, and anxiety disorders. Addressing TMJ pain and discomfort can restore the smile and make everyday life more comfortable for patients.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
There are several common signs of TMJ disorders that cause pain and discomfort to patients:
- Chipped and Broken Teeth: Bruxism, a condition characterized by teeth clenching and grinding, can chip or break tooth enamel. Most of the time, patients do not realize that they are clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth. This is because they do so unconsciously during sleep.
- Uncomfortable Bite: Particularly for patients with crooked or misaligned teeth, stress on the teeth and jaw can lead to discomfort. An uneven bite can make eating and speaking difficult. Bruxism can also make eating painful.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Pressure and stress can cause tooth sensitivity. Because of bruxism, teeth can be worn down to dentin, the dark underlayer beneath the outer tooth enamel. Dentin is more sensitive than enamel, which is why some patients may be sensitive to temperature and hard foods.
Contact Morris Family Dentistry if you have worn or injured teeth. Common dental problems can often be attributed to TMJ disorders.
Why See A Dawson Dentist?
Dr. Chad Morris is a member of the Dawson Academy. He is trained in analyzing bite problems by examining the dental and facial structure, including the muscles and joints that are a part of the mouth, face, and jaw. As a Dawson-educated dentist, Dr. Morris takes the time to fully understand his patient’s problems and help them maintain comfortable results. He follows the philosophy of the Dawson Academy by not only treating TMJ as a dental problem but as an overall health problem that requires extensive, comprehensive care. He addresses dental health issues and occlusal, or bite problems thoroughly and accurately.
How to Treat TMJ Disorders
For patients with mild to moderate symptoms of TMJ disorders, Dr. Morris will recommend:
- Heat packs
- Relaxation techniques
- Physical therapy
- Muscle relaxants
- Custom nightguards
These treatments address the facial muscles and relax the jaw to relieve stress. Sometimes, patients who have misaligned teeth can address their TMJ symptoms by straightening their smiles. However, we do not recommend Invisalign for patients who clench and grind their teeth as this can damage the aligners. Patients with severely overcrowded teeth may also require oral surgery. Dr. Morris will recommend treatment based on the needs of each specific patient.
Call Our Dental Office Today
Request a dental appointment with Dr. Morris on our website. You may also call Morris Family Dentistry at 225.725.7565. Let Dr. Morris know if you have any remaining questions or concerns about TMJ treatment and he will be happy to help you.