For a number of reasons, our jaw joints could undergo excessive strain and as a result, develop TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist is looking at the causes and warning signs of the disorder, and how you can ease discomfort until we can see you again for treatment!
The Causes of TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joints that connect our jaw and skull control the movements needed to eat and speak. However, when these joints undergo excessive pressure, this could cause TMJ disorder and eventually, trouble fully opening and closing the mouth. Common causes of TMD include injury to the face or jaw, chronic teeth grinding (bruxism), tooth loss, bite imbalance, or dental misalignment. People often report pain in the neck, shoulders, face, and jaw, as well as a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw. Frequent headaches and migraines are common as well. If you experience one or more of these warning signs, please let us know right away!
Reducing Your Discomfort
While we cannot see you at the moment outside of orthodontic emergencies, we would like to offer a few tips for alleviating discomfort until we can schedule a visit and render professional treatment. For example, try to avoid caffeinated beverages, or chewing on hard/chewy foods and objects, like pens, gum, or ice. The actions needed to consume these items could actually exacerbate your symptoms. If you feel tension, place a warm washcloth against the side of your face.
Possible Treatment Options
When we can see you, we’ll carefully examine your smile with advanced technology to identify the cause and assess the severity of your TMJ disorder. We’ll then take detailed digital images with an iTero® scanning device, combining them to create a 3D model of your smile. The model allows us to design an oral appliance that you’ll wear as you sleep. The device repositions the jaw to ease strain and stop TMD symptoms. The device also places a barrier to prevent further damage to your upper and lower sets of teeth due to teeth grinding. For some, we may also suggest orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment and ease strain, such as our Invisalign® clear aligners, which provides a barely noticeable means of fixing uneven teeth. If you have any questions about identifying and treating TMJ disorder, or about our orthodontic solutions, then contact our team today.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT TMD?
We want to help safeguard smiles against the discomfort of untreated TMD, as well as related issues that could develop, such as bruxism. To learn more about easing jaw joint tension, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in White Settlement, North Fort Worth, and all surrounding communities.