If you suffer from jaw pain, you may have a temporomandibular disorder. This means there is an issue with your temporomandibular joints, which connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you eat and speak.
Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and lead to uncomfortable symptoms like tension headaches, earaches, muscle spasms, locked jaw, or a clicking sound whenever you open and close your mouth. As your trusted restorative dentist in Westminster, MD, Dr. Bowersox is here to help you restore your peace-of-mind and resolve your jaw pain.
TMJ treatment plans are created individualized to each patient. This is because the causes of TMJ disorders vary from person to person. You can trust Dr. Bowersox to effectively diagnose and treat the underlying causes of your TMJ disorder. Please schedule an appointment with our office or call us at 410-642-5634 for more information on our TMJ treatment.
Here are some common questions regarding our TMJ treatment options:
What causes TMJ disorders?
There are a variety of reasons why someone might develop a TMJ disorder. If you clench your jaw under stress or grind your teeth at night, you are more likely to develop a TMJ disorder. This is because your jaw and facial muscles are under higher amounts of pressure than usual. Additionally, if you have suffered from facial trauma, the loss of a tooth, or a shift in your bite pattern, you can develop jaw pain over time.
What can I do at home to prevent my jaw pain?
Take several breaks throughout your day to intentionally relax your facial muscles and unclench your jaw. Avoid grinding your teeth, chewing gum, and holding a phone receiver between your head and shoulder. Additionally, you should make sure you are chewing your foods on both sides of your mouth and practicing good posture to reduce muscle tension.
How can dental implants help with TMJ?
If you are missing teeth, your bite pattern is thrown off. This means that your surrounding teeth, gums, and jawbone are put under added strain to compensate for the missing teeth. Your teeth, gums, and jawbone all work together to perform daily functions like chewing and speaking. With a dental implant, you can replace a missing tooth both functionally and aesthetically. This relieves some of the strain from your mouth muscles and also restores your bite pattern.
How can mouthguards help with TMJ?
Most TMJ patients have a history of grinding their teeth. Teeth grinding can be a difficult habit to break because most patients do so while they sleep. Dr. Bowersox evaluates his patients’ smiles during their preventative care appointments for signs of teeth grinding.
If he suspects you’ve been grinding your teeth together, our office can create a customized mouthguard to help protect your teeth at night. Additionally, a mouthguard holds your jaw in a healthy resting position while you sleep to ensure that when you wake up, your jawbone and facial muscles are well-rested.
Can TMJ get worse if not treated?
You may have a worsening of your TMJ symptoms if you do not get treatment. If you ignore your jaw pain, it may become chronic and severely impact your quality of life.
What can TMJ lead to?
Untreated TMJ can cause serious complications, such as chronic discomfort, inflammation, bite problems, tooth erosion can all result from TMJ. Also, chronic illnesses including sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, and anxiety may be due to an underlying TMJ condition.
Can TMJ affect your speech?
Besides doing damage to your teeth and joints, TMJ can also cause your muscles to become knotted and tense. Your speech may become slurred because TMJ weakens the muscles necessary to generate certain spoken sounds.
What does TMJ eye pain feel like?
The trigeminal nerve is compressed due to inflammation from TMJ. This causes pain signals to be sent to various parts of the body. This can lead to a painful sensation behind your eyes, which may be described as pulsing, throbbing, or swelling. Some people may also experience headaches, fatigue, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.