Kalamazoo Cosmetic Dentist - Lindenwoods Dental
Do you suffer from pain in your face or jaw joint area, or even hear a popping or clicking sound when you chew and talk? Maybe you suffer from headaches or lockjaw? If you have any of these symptoms, you may suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) which are disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for the up, down and side to side movement of your lower jaw. The same movements that allow you to talk, chew and yawn. Symptoms can be disguised as multiple other problems such as sinus headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder stiffness or even ear aches. Heavy teeth clenching or “bruxism” typically stems from some form of joint disorder in the jaw.
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Exact causes of TMD are often unknown, however dentists believe that problems with the jaw muscles or joint can lead to the disorder. Jaw and joint injuries, as well as head and neck muscle injuries can often play a role in developing temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
TMD causes can include:
- Heavy grinding & clinching (bruxism)
- Whiplash or other injury
- Erosion of the joint or misalignment
- Cartilage damage or arthritis
Finding the Source and Providing Relief
Lindenwoods Dental can help find of the source of your TMJ disorder and recommend a course of action to alleviate pain or symptoms. Using the latest in gentle, non-surgical treatments our doctors can help to eliminate symptoms.
Splint Therapy for TMJ Pain Relief & Treatment
There are many philosophies and methods of therapy for TMJ pain. Lindenwoods Dental believes in the least obtrusive, non surgical form of therapy whenever possible. Similar to a splint used to treat sleep apnea, splints for TMJ therapy are also commonly referred to as a “mouth guard,” “night guard,” “orthotic,” “bite plate,” or “bite appliance.” These splints can be molded in different ways to cover a select few teeth, all of the teeth or molded to all fit top or bottom teeth. Each patient is evaluated on a case by case basis to see who would benefit from TMJ Splint Therapy.