At our clinic, we like to focus on whole mouth health to promote whole body health. Part of having a healthy smile is having a healthy jaw and joints, which can affect more than just the quality of your smile. Utilizing a TMJ specialist can lead to headache relief and many other benefits.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is one thing that can affect many different aspects of your health. This joint, on the sides of your jaw right by your ears, is what connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. If that joint gets out of alignment or stops doing its job properly, it can start to cause TMJ dysfunction, also known as TMJ disorders or TMD.
TMD can be very painful and cause health problems throughout your body. These disorders are more common than you might think, but they have so many different causes and symptoms that they can be hard to diagnose.
Listed below are some of the most common causes and symptoms, but if you think you might have a TMJ-related problem, the best way to find out is to consult Dr. Sullivan right here at Artistry in Dentistry.
If your TMJ is causing you discomfort, there may be a few reasons behind that. Some common causes include:
- Bruxism, or excessive teeth-grinding both when you’re awake and asleep, is one of the most common causes of TMJ dysfunction. Not only can bruxism put extra stress on your jaw and weaken the TMJ, it also damages your teeth and negatively affects your daily routine.
- Degenerative joint diseases, such as different types of arthritis, will put you more at risk for a weakened TMJ and may cause you to have TMD.
- Emotional stress, such as severe anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses may also have a factor in causing a TMJ disorder. Many of these problems can give you joint pain throughout your body, and many of them also induce more teeth grinding.
- Trauma, whether big or small can severely affect your whole mouth, and especially the quality of your TMJ health.
Your jaw health helps control not only how you eat, but also how well you can communicate and interact with others. If your jaw is hurting, ask us about a TMJ consultation.
Symptoms of TMD
Because of the complexity of TMJ disorders, even if you haven’t experienced any of the most common causes listed above, you may still be experiencing symptoms, and we still want to help you treat those. There are many different symptoms of TMJ disorder, but some common ones include:
- Clicking/popping of the jaw.
- Stiffness/locking of the jaw.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Other general facial or shoulder pain.
While these symptoms are the most common, TMJ problems may also be the cause of numerous chronic pains throughout your body—not just in your jaw. It is important to get it treated to lead a healthy and happy life.
Here at our office, we know that any kind of chronic pain can make daily life difficult—especially if the pain is in your mouth. To best help you, we proudly offer TMJ treatment bite guards to reduce pain and alleviate tension caused by TMJ disorders.
Mouthguards for TMD | One of the biggest factors of TMJ pain is misalignment, so our bite guards help to realign your jaw and prevent clenching while you sleep.
These bite guards are worn at night much like a retainer, but rather than keeping your teeth in place, our bite guards gently adjust your jaw so only the front teeth are touching. This prevents your back teeth from clenching while you sleep, which in turn helps reduce the stress on the TMJ itself.
At Artistry in Dentistry, we can use a state-of-the-art CT scanner to look deep within your jaws and associated muscles and joints to search for the cause of your symptoms. Plus, Dr. Sullivan has been voted Phoenix Top Dentist for 10 years running, which shows that you will be treated with top-quality care.
Benefits of TMJ Treatment
Probably the greatest benefit of TMJ treatment is relief from discomfort and distraction. Having constant pain in the back (or front) of your mind can take away attention from what is important in your life. We want to give you back the focus and energy you need.
You’ll appreciate having these services at Artistry in Dentistry, because we have a friendly and close-knit dental team. We want to keep you comfortable here and develop trust with you. We have helped many other patients with TMD, and can back up our credentials with our memberships in the American Dental Association and the Arizona Dental Association.
Call Artistry in Dentistry for Whole-Mouth Care
If you are experiencing problems you think may be related to TMJ disorder, please call us for a consultation right away, so we can help you feel better as soon as possible!