If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you have TMJ Disorder (otherwise known as “TMD,”) the symptoms can include problems like popping, clicking, difficulty opening/closing, and chronic headaches. But what is it that causes the condition in the first place? It may be that addressing those problems is key to managing your painful TMJ disorder symptoms.
When your upper and lower teeth or jaws don’t align properly, it means your TMJ has to alter the way it functions when you bite or chew. The repetitive straining or modification of the joint’s natural function begins to cause wear and tear on the ligaments and disks in and around the joint. Not surprisingly, orthodontically correcting the bite’s alignment may actually help reverse and eliminate TMJ pain.
Chronic grinding and clenching of your teeth is called bruxism. Most people grind subconsciously, either in their sleep or when they are stressed out. The excessive forces over and over on your joint can cause muscle tension and pressure to your joint anatomy. Wearing a splint when you sleep or drive can reduce the tension within your jaw, by preventing the teeth from coming into full contact with one another.
Injuries or Accidents
It could be that something happened years ago, like an auto accident or sports injury that damaged your jaw. Even though it didn’t hurt when it happened, the gradual deterioration of your joint eventually reaches a point where painful symptoms begin to develop.
Our Concord dental patients each receive a TMJ assessment as part of their periodic exams twice each year. If you’ve been suffering from symptoms of TMJ disorder and suspect that you may need help with the symptoms, call Concord Woods Dental Group today. Our dentists will be happy to answer any of your questions and review your options with you.