When Does Your Smile Need TMJ Treatment?

Have you ever heard of TMJ disorder? Also known as TMD, this jaw joint disorder could lead to serious discomfort and even impact how your mouth opens and closes. In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about how we identify and treat the disorder, and what warning signs our Gary, IN, patients should watch for. Find out when your smile may need TMJ treatment!

The Causes of TMD

The disorder develops when the temporomandibular joints, which connect your jaw and skull, undergo excessive strain. The causes of the strain vary, but could include tooth loss, bite imbalance, misalignment, teeth grinding, or injury to the face or jaw. As part of the diagnostic process, we will look at your teeth for signs of wear and friction, and assess the state of your jawbone and oral structures. From there, we decipher whether you have TMD and what treatment option will work best for you.

Warning Signs to Watch For

When should you contact your dentist for treatment? Warning signs often include a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, as well as jaw pain and headaches/migraines. Others report aches in the neck, face, or shoulders. If you have persistent pain in or around your smile, then please contact our team right away. As we mentioned above, lack of treatment could mean trouble fully opening and closing the mouth. The onset of teeth grinding due to TMJ disorder could also mean a greater risk of worn down, cracked, or chipped teeth. Don’t let your smile’s health suffer, talk to us right away!

Treatment Options

For some, we may correct misalignment with orthodontic treatment. Others may benefit from creating and placing a custom-made dental crown to restore bite imbalance. However, the most common treatment option is a personalized oral appliance. We take detailed impressions and measurements of your smile, which we use to create a device that will fit much like a mouthguard. Worn at night, the device actually repositions the jaw to ease strain on the jaw joints. The appliance then eases symptoms and helps reduce strain. If you grind your teeth as well, the device can act as a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth, preventing further damage. If you have any questions about identifying and treating these oral health concerns, then contact our team today for a consultation and diagnosis.

Don’t Ignore Your Popping Jaw

We have custom-made options to restore bite balance and relieve stress on your jaw joints. To schedule an appointment with your dentist, contact Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, by calling 219-938-2637, or by emailing our office at info@healthysmilesnwi.com. We also proudly serve the residents of Gary, Miller, Miller Beach, and all surrounding communities.