TMJ (Temporamandibular Joint)
Treatment Frederick, MD
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge for your jaw. That is to say, the TMJ is where your lower jaw connects to the rest of your skull. There is a good chance that everyone will experience at least minor TMJ discomfort of fatigue at some point in their life.
TMJ Pain & FatigueThe TMJ is almost constantly in use. Even while we are sleeping many people have a tendency to clench their teeth or flex the muscles in and around their mouth. When this is coupled with the fact that our mouths and the surrounding structures are extremely sensitive to change it starts to become apparent why the TMJ can often become a point of pain.
Consider the intricacies of how your teeth fit together. Each one of your molars has to line up with the grooves in the opposing molars with almost no room for error. Think about when a tiny piece of food like a poppy seed gets stuck in your teeth – it feels much larger than it is. Often when a something small gets stuck in your teeth you will stop what you are doing specifically to remove it. When a tooth moves even slightly, it can set in motion a domino effect – all of a sudden all of your teeth feel compacted and tight.
So when you have dental work done we try to be as exact as possible with all of our actions. Sometimes when a tooth is removed or a new appliance is fitted into your mouth things can change slightly. What is imperceptible to the eye can feel like a massive change within your mouth.
If something changes within your mouth and it causes your bit to change it can easily lead to jaw fatigue and pain in the TMJ. Fortunately there some solutions to this very common issue.
Addressing TMJ PainThere are a few ways to address TMJ issues mostly depending on what brought on the issue. If you have a filling done, extreme care is taken while trying to ensure that the filling won’t affect your bite. Sometimes despite our best efforts a change will take place with your bite. In this case just give us the call at (301) 662-5914 and schedule an appointment to come in and see us. We can make small alterations to the filling until it feels correct in your bite.
TMJ pain can also be cause by teeth grinding at night. Many times this is easily fixed with a dental guard which we can fit for you in our office. Night guards can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores as well.
TMJ can even be caused by trauma to the jaw. In the event that you have experienced a blow to the jaw resulting in TMJ pain it would be wise to contact us immediately to make an appointment, or be seen same day. Depending on the severity of the issue we may be able to help. If the injury goes beyond the scope of our dental practice we can recommend a specialist who would be happy to help
Please give us a call today at (301) 662-5914 to schedule an appointment today!