Do you find yourself rubbing the sides of your jaw because your jaw joint feels sore or aches throughout the day? Do you often wake with earaches, migraines, and neck pain? Do your teeth hurt when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have TMJ disorder, also called TMD.
What is TMD?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the jaw hinge joint that allows you to open your mouth, chew, and speak. It is no wonder, then, how a disorder with this jaw hinge joint can affect almost every part of your daily life. TMD sufferers often experience a ringing in their ears or headaches, especially in the morning. This is a result of intensified jaw clenching that happens overnight. Nighttime jaw clenching also leads to teeth grinding, or bruxism. A compounding dental issue, bruxism creates problems for your teeth by wearing down the enamel. With weakened tooth enamel, your smile is more vulnerable to sensitivity and tooth decay.
Causes and Treatments for TMJ Disorder
The causes of TMD are wide ranging. TMJ disorder can be a result of malocclusion (misaligned bite), bruxism, and stress, to name a few. For many people, the disorder is cyclical as the symptoms perpetuate the jaw disorder. Preventing the symptoms of TMJ disorder can include treatments like nighttime mouthguards, bite correction like braces, or even maxillofacial surgery. Whatever the cause, treating TMJ disorder will not only alleviate discomfort from chronic jaw pain, but also help you avoid an increased risk of cavities, body aches, and tooth sensitivity.
Preventive Dentistry in Aventura
If you would like to find out more about TMJ disorder, contact our family dentist in Aventura, Dr. Arun Garg at (305)935-4991 to schedule a dental cleaning or checkup. We look forward to helping you alleviate the symptoms of jawpain with compassionate dentistry.