Alleviate Jaw Discomfort
Your teeth, jaws, muscles, and other tissues that allow you to display a smile, chew, speak, and laugh all work together as a functioning system. When one part of the system malfunctions, the problem may quickly escalate since each portion is required to eat or speak. For instance, if you grind your teeth each day (bruxism), your jaw joints may begin to hurt. If your jaw joints hurt (TMJ disorder), you may have difficulty chewing. To learn more about protecting your oral system with effective treatments, schedule a visit with us at Dental Associates of Riverside.
Your jaw joints (TMJs – short for temporomandibular joint) provide movement to your jaw. You have one TMJ located on either side of your head. When damage or stress causes them to function poorly, you may experience a variety of symptoms that cause discomfort, including:
- Popping or clicking jaw
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- The temporary locking of your jaw
- Discomfort while chewing
- Soreness that radiates from within your TMJs to surrounding areas, including your face, neck, shoulders, and back
- Chronic headaches
A common cause of TMJ disorder, bruxism is characterized by habitual teeth grinding or clenching. A problem with your chewing reflex may sometimes cause the disorder. Many patients fail to recognize their habit or perform it while sleeping. Symptoms include:
- Others have heard you grinding your teeth
- You tend to clench your teeth together when you stress
- Worn tooth surfaces
- Broken, fractured, or chipped teeth
TMJ and Bruxism Treatment
TMJ disorder and bruxism may lead to significant discomfort and long-term structural damage when neglected. We may treat both problems with preventive oral appliance therapy, which relies on the use of custom-fitted oral devices similar to a mouth guard that you will wear during sleep. For bruxism, you will wear a device that cushions your bite, so you may not grind or clench your teeth. We may also utilize this for TMJ to gently realign your jaw to relieve stress placed on your TMJs.