TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint in the jaw area. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common cause of this disorder. Most often, this grinding is involuntary and occurs without the patient’s knowledge. TMJ disorder is marked by a clicking and popping sound made by the joint when opening and closing the mouth.
Bruxism can cause damage to the teeth by wearing away at the enamel, resulting in an uneven bite. Your bite is crucial to your ability to chew, talk, and move your jaw. If the teeth and bite are misaligned, this can create extra stress on the jaw. The mechanics of opening and closing your mouth are affected when the joint in the temporomandibular region is not functioning properly.
A variety of effective treatment options exist for TMJ disorder and its symptoms. Some of these treatment options include medication, occlusal therapy, bite guards, splint therapy, and surgery. Sometimes physical therapy can also be included with other types of treatments.
Some dentists take a conservative approach by encouraging the muscles to relax before considering any aggressive approaches, such as surgery. Treatments are aimed at creating balance between the teeth and jaw so that they function and align together properly.
Mitigating TMJ disorder can be done by wearing a night guard that prevents contact between the teeth. This can be helpful for patients who frequently grind their teeth. This treatment prevents wear and tear on the teeth.
The best preventative maintenance for TMJ disorder is finding a healthy way to relieve stress. This can include massage therapy, meditation, or exercise. Stress can be a cause of teeth clenching, which worsens symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Dr. Kenn Kakosian D.D.S., P.C. provides TMJ disorder diagnosis and treatments as well as preventative care. We specialize in cosmetic and general dentistry for patients in the Manhattan area of NYC. Call (212) 661-0949 to schedule an appointment today.