Our office is currently only offering treatment for orthodontic emergencies, such as damaged braces or aligners. However, we still want to raise awareness of common oral health issues, and discuss how you can alleviate discomfort until you can see us once again for treatment. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist talks about the causes of TMJ disorder.
Pain in Your Jaw
Do you notice frequent pain in your jaw or face? What about a popping or clicking sensation in your jaw, or frequent headaches and migraines? These are common warning signs of TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. The disorder arises when our temporomandibular joints, which connect the jaw and skull, undergo excessive stress and strain. Over time, the stress leads to difficulty opening and closing the mouth as TMD forms and grows more severe. You could also become more likely to start grinding your teeth. Bruxism, or persistent teeth grinding, could eventually wear down enamel or even crack or chip the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and infection.
Easing Your Discomfort Until We Can See You
Right now, we’re only offering emergency treatment to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but when we see you again, we would be happy to offer solutions for your TMJ issues. For now though, you can take steps to help ease discomfort until we can see you. For example, try to avoid caffeinated products, or chewy/hard foods, as the actions needed to consume them could exacerbate oral health issues. Use a warm compress or washcloth against the side of the face to ease strain.
When you can see us, our team will schedule an appointment to examine your smile and identify the factors behind your TMJ dysfunction. If we find TMJ disorder, our team will take a series of digital images of your smile using a small camera ta the end of a thin wand. We then combine the images to create a 3D model of your smile, which allows us to then design an oral appliance with precision and accuracy.
The oral appliance will look and fit much like a mouthguard, and will be worn when you go to sleep each night. The appliance then repositions the jaw to ease strain, helping you avoid continued pressure on the jaw and avoid worsening symptoms. The appliance also helps correct damage due to teeth grinding. People with TMD may be more likely to grind their teeth, but the appliance places a barrier between the sets of teeth to avoid further damage.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT TMD?
We can’t wait to see you and offer orthodontic treatment or TMD solutions. To schedule a consultation for an orthodontic emergency, please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Haslet, Azle, and all surrounding communities.