Don’t Just Treat Your Pain, Prevent It
Have you ever wondered why your jaw always feels sore and tired? Do you clench and grind your teeth? Do you suffer from chronic headaches and migraines? You may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from TMJ dysfunction. The good news is, your Alexandria dentist has a simple, non-invasive solution that not only treats your pain but prevents it from happening in the first place. This simple solution may be all that stands between you and living a pain-free life.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint. To make things confusing, sometimes the condition is called TMJD. For simplicity’s sake, we will use TMJ to describe the joint, as well as the joint dysfunction, as this is the most commonly used term.
Your TMJ is made up of a complex network of muscles and tendons that connect your lower jaw with your skull. When any of these nerves, muscles, and tendons or the joint itself is out of balance, it can cause a whole lot of pain and discomfort.
What causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by:
- Traumatic injury
- Missing teeth left untreated
- Teeth and bite misalignment
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
It’s important to note that, while anyone can develop TMJ, the majority of TMJ sufferers are women. The reason for this is still being studied, but some research points to excessive stress in the childbearing years, a hormone receptor found in the jaws of male primates that is absent in female primates, and a link between women taking hormonal birth control reporting higher instances of TMJ.
What are the symptoms?
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Jaw pain and stiffness
- Jaw popping and locking (lockjaw)
- Chronic myofascial pain (jaw, face, head, neck)
- Muscle spasms
- Ear pain or ringing
- Difficulty chewing
What is the solution?
While your primary care doctor may prescribe medication to treat your pain, and even invasive surgery if your case is severe, your Pineville dentist has a better solution. Dr. Gauthier can create a custom mouth guard for you to wear during sleep. This oral appliance is designed to prevent the chronic teeth grinding and clenching that happens while you sleep, finally giving your TMJ a chance to rest and recover.
A custom mouthguard can not only protect your TMJ but also protects your teeth from wearing down over time. Imagine waking up refreshed and without pain. TMJ appliances are non-invasive, convenient, and affordable solution to prevent your chronic myofascial pain.
If you’re looking for a simple solution to drastically improve your quality of life, we would love to speak with you about TMJ treatment.
If you have any questions about TMJ or would like to schedule a consultation with your Alexandria dentist, Dr. Jonas Gauthier at Today’s Dental, give us a call today or schedule a visit online!