Do you have pain in your jaw or face that is frequently reoccurring, or persistent headaches and migraines with no visible cause? For many people, issues with chronic pain are linked to a common jaw joint disorder known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist explains how we identify and treat this issue, restoring comfort and health to your smile.
The Link Between Chronic Pain and TMD
The temporomandibular joints connect our jaw and skull, controlling the actions needed to eat and speak. However, when these joints undergo excessive strain, this could lead to TMJ disorder. Over time, the disorder causes a number of uncomfortable complications, and could even lead to trouble fully opening and closing your mouth. Causes of the strain could include tooth loss, bite imbalance, dental misalignment, bruxism (teeth grinding), or injury to the face, teeth, or jaw. Warning signs often include persistent discomfort, such as headaches, migraines, jaw pain, or aches in the neck and shoulders. Popping or clicking in the jaw could also occur.
Creating an Oral Appliance
To help treat the issue, we may prescribe an oral appliance as part of our approach to TMJ therapy. We start by using iTero® digital scanning to take detailed images of your smile. These images allow us to create a precise and accurate digital impression, so we can design and craft an appliance that fits comfortably. This digital scanning system also helps us design orthodontics, such as clear Invisalign® aligners or tooth-colored ceramic brackets for those wearing braces.
The Treatment Process
The oral appliance will look and fit much like a mouthguard, and will be worn as you sleep at night. The device then repositions the jaw to ease strain on the joints. You avoid painful symptoms, and lower the risk of complications. For example, many people with TMD may be more likely to develop teeth grinding, which damages your teeth and causes related issues like cavities and infections. If misalignment is a factor in your TMJ dysfunction, then we may also discuss possible orthodontic treatment options, including our clear aligners and braces. If you have any questions about our approach to TMJ therapy, or if you have issues with chronic pain such as headaches or jaw pain, then contact our team today to discuss possible solutions.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT TMJ THERAPY?
Our team uses a unique oral appliance and orthodontic care to address issues with jaw joints and bite balance, managing your TMD issues. To learn more about treating TMD issues and improving smile alignment, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Springtown, Rome, and all surrounding communities.