Did you know that November is actually TMJ Awareness Month? In the United Sates, millions of people experience discomfort due to TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Without treatment, patients may eventually have issues fully opening and closing their mouths. Fortunately, we’re ready to help address this jaw joint disorder with a comfortable and minimally invasive solution.

Causes and Warning Signs of TMJ Disorder

A number of different factors can lead to the onset of TMJ disorder, including tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, bruxism (teeth grinding/jaw clenching), and malocclusion. The temporomandibular joints connect the jaw to the face and are responsible for the motions needed to speak and chew. When the factors we listed above occur, the joints undergo excessive strain, allowing the disorder to form. Patients may notice soreness in their face or jaw, chronic headaches, or even a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw.

Treatment Options

Relieving pressure on the jaw joints can be achieved with orthodontics, such as Invisalign clear aligners, or even the placement of a restoration, such as a dental crown. However, in most cases we recommend an oral appliance. The device will be worn as you sleep and will resemble a nightguard. However, the device is custom-made to reposition the jaw, easing strain in the joints. Patients appreciate this comfortable treatment option.

Lifestyle Changes

Along with an oral appliance, you can also change your daily habits to help alleviate pressure on the joints. First, you can often perform specific muscle exercises several times a day, or place a warm compress against the side of the face to reduce discomfort. We suggest avoiding caffeine, as well as hard or chewy foods. The repetitive motions needed to consume hard or chewy foods can often exacerbate the symptoms. If you have any questions about identifying to treating TMJ disorder, then please contact our team today.

Does Your Jaw Pop or Click?

We can help address TMD and other jaw joint disorders, such as bruxism. To schedule an appointment, call Viva Dental Family Dentistry at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson).