For millions of Americans, pain in the jaw joints and head could be caused by untreated TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Without treatment, this could cause headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist talks about how we diagnose and treat this concern with an oral appliance.
Headaches and Other Symptoms
TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joints, which connect your jaw and skull, undergo excess strain and stress. Since we need these joints to control the movements, allowing us to eat and speak, the disorder is linked to difficulty fully opening and closing the mouth, and also a host of uncomfortable symptoms. People report pain in the jaw and face, headaches and migraines, popping or clicking in the jaw, or aches in the neck and shoulder. The disorder could make bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) more likely, so painful toothaches and sensitivity could follow. If you encounter one or more of these warning signs, then let us know right away.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
With digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, we will gather detailed images of your entire smile. We analyze the wear and friction on your teeth, and the balance of your bite, to assess the causes and extent of your TMD. From there, we will choose the best treatment option. For some, this involves correcting misalignment using braces or clear Invisalign® aligners, which balances the bite and eases strain on your smile. You could also limit discomfort by avoiding hard or chewy foods, which could exacerbate symptoms, and by using a warm compress or wash cloth against the side of the face to ease tension.
Treatment with a Custom Oral Appliance
We often treat the issue with an oral appliance. With the iTero® system, we gather detailed images of your smile and combine them to create a 3D computer impression, no need for biting down on molds anymore. We use the information to design and craft the appliance, which is worn like a mouthguard as you rest. The device helps reposition the jaw to ease strain, and also prevents damage from teeth grinding by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. If you have any questions about how we design and craft an oral appliance, or if you have symptoms that need attention, then contact our team today. We want to help you enjoy an even, healthy, and comfortable smile!
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY?
Don’t live with painful symptoms due to issues like TMJ disorder, talk to our team about oral appliances. To learn more about how we restore balance to your jaw joints, 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.