TMJ disorders develop most commonly in patients in the “middle years” of life, generally from about 18 to 60 years old. One common cause is para-functional bruxism, or teeth clenching at some time during the day, and/or during sleep. Sometimes, but not always, it is related to a poor bite or malocclusion. Emotional stress, rheumatological conditions, and poor sleep patterns can also be factors.
Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders. Other causes include grinding or clenching your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint, which can cause you to tighten your facial and jaw muscles.
Common symptoms include pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide. Clicking or popping sounds may be observed during the function. This may be accompanied by a toothache, headache and/or an earache.
Proper diagnosis is needed to determine the cause of the problem and select the appropriate treatment. A custom-made splint or night guard can be used to improve the symptoms associated with your TMJ. These plastic mouthpieces fit over your upper or lower teeth. They decrease the effects of clenching or grinding and correct your bite by putting your teeth in a proper position.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.
Our office accepts several insurance plans to provide you with the most convenient financial options. We will help you determine benefits provided by your plan and verify your anticipated cost prior to treatment.
We are focused on providing you with the outstanding dental care while maximizing your insurance benefits. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns regarding dental insurance.
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