Making TMJ Troubles A Thing Of The Past
It’s a wonderful morning.
You don’t have to go to work. You had a good night’s sleep.
After a refreshing shower, you fix a cup of coffee and make yourself a delicious breakfast with crisp bacon, toast (with your favorite jam), and eggs.
Just think, one month ago, this may not have been possible. You used to wake up with a throbbing headache. Eating breakfast — or trying to eat — made your jaw hurt, and trying to work through the pain was difficult, to say the least.
You are so glad that you went to Hubbard & Leath Dental. When you learned that your headaches and other pains were the results of a TMJ problem, you were able to get the help that you needed.
Would you like to fast forward to that morning in a month when you can wake up pain-free and enjoy your breakfast? Now is a great time to call our dentists if you are struggling with headaches, jaw pain, and other problems you live Troy, Auburn Hills, or anywhere else near our office in Rochester, MI.
Many TMJ disorders arise from bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding your teeth together.
For many people, this is a reaction to stress. In many cases, people aren’t aware that they have been doing this. It’s something you may do unconsciously while you are awake. It’s also something that millions of people do in their sleep.
Bruxism is bad for you in a couple ways. First, when you grind your teeth, you wear down the protective enamel that makes up the outer layers of your teeth. If the enamel gets worn away, then your teeth will be more vulnerable to tooth decay and other problems.
Second, when you clench your teeth together, you put a lot of extra stress on your TMJ (which is your temporomandibular joint) and the muscles around it. This added pressure could explain why you are having frequent headaches, including migraines, as well as jaw, face, neck, upper back, and ear pains.
How do we treat this problem? We make a mouthguard for you to wear. This mouthguard, or TMJ splint, will keep you from grinding your teeth. It will also change the position of your jaw to alleviate pressure.
As you get used to wearing the splint, you may find that your jaw starts to rest naturally in this more comfortable position.
You also should notice that your headaches and other pain occur much less frequently.
Should You Get Checked For TMD?
TMD or TMJ disorder occur when you have a problem with your temporomandibular joint. These joints (you have one on each side of your mouth) allow you to open and close your jaw.
If are experiencing one or more of the following problems on a regular basis, then it would be a good idea to let our team take a look at your jaw:
• Jaw pain
• Neck pain
• Facial back
• Upper back or shoulder back
• Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
• Inability to open or closing your mouth
• Popping or clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth
Any or all of these could indicate a TMJ problem.
We want to repeat the clenching and grinding your teeth is a common factor, but it may not be the only factor.
Arthritis, illnesses, and trauma to your face or jaw also may contribute to or cause TMJ problems. In other cases, the alignment of your teeth and jaw can be a factor as well.
Is There Any Way To Treat TMJ At Home?
Many people experience TMJ problems that don’t rise to the level of a TMJ disorder. You may be able to help yourself if this is a temporary problem.
Pain relievers will help alleviate the pain.
Using moist heat can ease pain and improve mobility in your jaw.
Cold packs can numb your pain and reduce swelling around your jaw.
You may notice some improvement in your condition by eating softer foods for a few days.
If you attempt these home treatments, you will want to pay attention to a couple things. Do your symptoms return when you stop the treatments? Do your symptoms persist in spite of your efforts?
If you answer yes to either of those questions, then it is time to call us.
Make Your Appointment
Hubbard & Leath Dental wants you to live your life with as little pain as possible. We can help with many TMJ issues at our dentist office in Rochester, MI.