Tooth clenching and grinding can wreak havoc on your teeth. Our upper and lower teeth should slide together and touch each other only when chewing food or speaking. Abnormal clenching and grinding can cause tooth wear and severe jaw problems.The reality is that most people clench their teeth from time to time. For example, when…
Tips From a TMJ Dentist For Making Your Treatment More Effective
If you have TMJ disorder, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, you may be interested in learning some tips from a TMJ dentist on how to make treatments more effective. TMJ disorders cause a wide array of uncomfortable symptoms that can be treated by a professional. There are a few basic steps to employ to make TMJ disorders treatment more effective.
TMJ Disorders Explained
TMJ disorder is the condition in which patients experience several limiting symptoms surrounding jaw movements. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the jaw joint that allows people to open and close the mouth for eating, drinking, and speaking. When the movement of the joint and the tissues surrounding it is limited due to painful symptoms, the patient may have a TMJ disorder. Much is still unknown about TMJ and the causes of it. Most dentists and scientists believe TMJ disorders are due to former injuries, arthritis, fibromyalgia, teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Stress is also a possible factor. TMJ disorders are usually not permanent, but they come and go.
Try to eat soft foods when the symptoms are aggravated. Avoid chewing gum at any time because this can cause a reaction. Use ice packs to reduce swelling around the joint area. Swelling is one of the main causes of discomfort and grinding in the joint. Try not to yawn, and keep the mouth closed as much as possible. Over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory medications can provide relief.
A TMJ Dentist Explains How to Make Treatments More Effective
If at all possible, avoid treatments that cause permanent changes. Since much is still unknown about the causes of TMJ disorders, we hesitate to recommend treatments like orthodontics, bridge work, or oral surgery. Since we do not know the cause, and few studies have been taken to measure the effectiveness of treatments, any permanent treatments could potentially make symptoms worse, and they could be unsafe for your dental structure.
If at-home care tips are not always helpful, visit a TMJ dentist office for more effective treatment options that are also safe and reversible. Some of the common treatments we provide are oral appliances and splints. These appliances consist of a plastic-type material that fits comfortably in the mouth.
The appliance fits over the teeth in most case, providing bite and jaw adjustments that deter night grinding and jaw clenching. Our oral appliances can help alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorders, including fatigue and morning headaches. The oral appliance fits securely in the mouth, so patients never have to worry about it falling out during sleep.
The oral appliance treatment from our TMJ dentist office works even more effectively when you also practice the tips listed above. Continue to avoid hard foods and wide mouth movements, and take pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications when needed. When symptoms are kept at bay, they do not become more severe or stay for as long when they do appear. For a better night of rest and diminished symptoms, visit our TMJ dentist office to learn more about our oral appliances and effective treatments.
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