The TMJ – the abbreviation for temporomandibular joints – are the joints and jaw muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth. When you have a TMJ problem, the side effects can be severe, not only causing pain but leading to compromised cosmetic dentistry and damaged teeth. The solution for TMJ problems is simple if you visit a dentist who understands what you’re experiencing.
See Your Dentist for the Right Diagnosis
TMJ disorder is the acute or chronic inflammation of the TMJ joint. The consequences of this problem include severe pain, disruption to the normal bite, and difficulties eating and sleeping. However, when you regularly wake up with headaches or migraines, or you suffer from hearing loss, earaches, dizziness, tinnitus, or neck and shoulder pain, you may take yourself to a general practitioner to diagnose whatever is going on with your body.
Some of these issues can masquerade as other health problems and, unfortunately, a regular doctor isn’t always the right expert to consult. They may, in fact, misdiagnose you with a physical or mental ailment that you do not actually have, especially if they do not ask you about any oral health irregularities during your visit.
It will be clear to your Arlington TMJ dentist that you’re suffering from TMJ problems when the above symptoms are combined with dental distress like:
- Difficulty biting or discomfort while chewing
- Popping or clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth.
- Dull, aching facial pain
- Jaw pain or tenderness
How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Be Damaged by TMJ Problems
If you grind and clench your teeth severely at night without any intervention or pause in this problem, your oral health will suffer. Many complications can develop because of this issue, often brought on by stress but sometimes caused by bite misalignment or TMJ problems, and can include:
- Damaged cosmetic dentistry: Veneers and crowns are strong restorations, but they cannot always withstand the constant, powerful pressure of teeth rubbing unconsciously against each other.
- Broken teeth: Many a tooth has been broken by teeth grinding, and cavities have been popped out or cracked, leading to hairline cracks in teeth.
- Worn enamel: Teeth are only meant to gnash against each other while you’re eating, but ongoing activity while sleeping is a sure way to wear down tooth enamel and lead to an uneven smile.
- Gum recession: Gums can begin to recede when teeth grinding is a regular habit. This not only leads to an unsightly appearance but causes sensitivity and makes gum disease or infection far more likely.
Fix TMJ Problems and Save Your Cosmetic Dentistry
Correcting an oral health problem always begins with a comprehensive dental examination. Your dentist needs to get to the root of the complications you’re experiencing, identify the causes of your condition, and make a proper diagnosis.
For some people who are identified as having TMJ problems, your dentist may recommend simple exercises to relax the jaw, fit you with a bite splint to bring your bite into alignment, or prescribe medications to help with pain. If teeth grinding is the main issue, a nightguard can stop problems in their tracks.
If you have any discomfort in your mouth or jaw, suspect any oral health problems, or are worried about damaged cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Alana Macalik’s dental office in Arlington, TX, to schedule a consultation and get treatment now.