If you suffer from jaw pain, you know that it can really disrupt your life and even cause headaches throughout your day. Jaw pain and dysfunction is often referred to as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) or TMJD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). The causes of TMJD vary, as do the symptoms.
We can help!
Symptoms of TMJD
Symptoms of TMJD can vary and worsen over time unless treated. While symptoms vary from person to person, they may include:
- Neck ache
- Jaw pain
- Facial tenderness
- Clicking joints
- Popping joints
- Locking joints
- Ringing ears
- Shoulder pain
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Degeneration of joints
At Ringwood Dental Care, we offer treatment to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms associated with jaw joint pain.
Treatment for TMJD and Headaches
Clenching and grinding your teeth can contribute to TMJ pain. You might not even be aware that you do it since it often happens during sleep.
Some signs that you might be grinding your teeth include jaw pain, but they also include:
- Bite marks inside your cheeks
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Notched teeth at the gum line
We can determine, through a comprehensive exam, whether you have a clenching or grinding habit and make a recommendation that will protect your smile and promote comfort.
Our first line of treatment for TMJ pain and headaches is a custom nightguard, also known as a splint. We utilize several different kinds:
Deprogrammer splint – A deprogrammer is a low-profile splint that fits over your front teeth. It helps to release the jaw muscles and prevent clenching or grinding. Using a deprogrammer can reduce inflammation and allow your jaw muscles to relax. It also helps to reduce the pain and headaches associated with TMJ dysfunction.
Occlusal guard (nightguard or splint) – An occlusal guard gently glides your jaw into proper alignment, reducing headaches, tension, and inflammation in the muscles and tendons in your jaw. It also creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, which helps to prevent damage from clenching and grinding. We custom design our occlusal guards for our patients' comfort.
A complete exam at our Ringwood, NJ dental office will help us determine the treatment that will give you the greatest relief.
In dentistry, when we talk about occlusion, we refer to how your teeth come together. In addition to being rooted in your jawbone, your teeth have tiny connective tissues that attach to your gums, making them very sensitive to misalignment. Sometimes, if your bite does not come together correctly, making hairline adjustments to the surfaces of your teeth can correct the problem and allow your jaw to come together comfortably, with your teeth in alignment.
By making these tiny adjustments, your jaw can relax, your teeth will come together correctly, and you can enjoy dramatically greater comfort.
Do You Suffer from Jaw Pain?
You don’t have to! We can help.
Contact Ringwood Family Dental to schedule a TMJ evaluation with Dr. Harsh Shah and learn more about relieving headaches, bruxism, and pain with our highly effective treatment.