Jaw pain, frequent headaches and difficulty chewing can be the symptoms of a bite disorder, commonly referred to as “TMJ”. The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw and the skull which is moved by some of the strongest muscles in the body. An imbalance in the bite creates dysfunction in the TMJ which often leads to painful symptoms and tension. Over time, patients experience deteriorating oral health.
Baltimore dentist Dr. Emily Lin and the dental team at Canton Dental Associates offer diagnosis and treatment for TMJ disorders that can alleviate your pain and improve your dental health. Your dentist will perform an occlusal analysis and thoroughly evaluate the teeth and gums to identify the underlying cause of your bite problem. It is important to treat the root cause and not just the symptoms for lasting comfort and better oral health.
Teeth Grinding & TMJ
Not all patients with a TMJ disorder grind their teeth, and vice-versa. However, teeth grinding is still considered a common symptom of a bite problem. Patients who grind their teeth will experience many of the same symptoms, including headaches and jaw pain due to the stress and tension that builds up in the joint. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, it is important to have your Baltimore dentist at Canton Dental Associates evaluate your bite and oral health to prevent permanent damage to the teeth and the gums over time. Teeth grinding can even lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Symptoms of TMJ
The Common Signs of A TMJ Disorder
Most patients will experience one or more of these common symptoms if they have a TMJ disorder.
- Frequent headaches
- Ear pain or feeling of fullness
- Jaw pain or discomfort
- Difficulty chewing properly
- Worn or damaged teeth
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
Treatment of TMJ Disorders
After a thorough exam and analysis of your jaw function, your dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment that will address dysfunction, damage and your painful symptoms.
Mouthguard/Nightguard: a custom fit mouthguard or oral appliance is often the most conservative route for alleviating headaches and jaw pain that is caused by teeth grinding and tension in the joint.
Restorative dentistry: treatments that will repair damage to the teeth or adjust the biting surface for an even bite.
Orthodontic treatment: straightening misaligned teeth my be the solution to your bite problem. Dr. Lin is a Baltimore Invisalign/SureSmile provider and offers this convenient treatment option when appropriate.
In many cases, a combination of the above treatment options may be necessary to fully address your symptoms and dental problems.