If jaw pain is part of your everyday life, it may seem normal to you. The truth is, jaw pain is far from normal and may be a symptom of a condition called TMD from one or both of your TMJs. Those are the joints of your lower jaw, called TemporoMandibular Joints. When disease or misalignment occurs, the TMJ and surrounding area becomes inflamed — which is what causes pain and other symptoms.
Treatment of TMD begins with a comprehensive clinical examination, to check your face, jaw, bite, joints, and teeth. During your appointment, we will check for pain and tenderness and listen for clicking or popping when you open and close your mouth, swallow, or chew. If the disorder is diagnosed, a bite splint or night guard is often recommended as the initial treatment.
Our treatment application involves bite splints, which are custom-created plastic mouthpieces, designed to fit over your upper and/or lower teeth. These type of devices prevent the grinding and clenching that often causes or worsens TMD. The splint also realigns the jaw, removing stress on the surrounding area.
If a misaligned bite or missing teeth are the cause of your symptoms, we may recommend orthodontics or restorative dental work. If your bite is placing undue pressure on the TMJ’s, we may suggest reshaping individual teeth to redistribute the bite force evenly.