Can TMJ Cause Dental Problems?
Our TMJ specialists at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders offer comprehensive treatment for pediatric TMJ. So talk to us today. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
TMJ refers to the two temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw to the skull. Dysfunction with either one of these joints is known as TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. One of the biggest concerns of dysfunction of the TMJ is a misaligned bite, which can cause problems chewing or talking, pain in the joint, and damage to the teeth. While most cases of TMD are mild and present symptoms of a grating or clicking sound known as crepitus, moderate to severe cases can result in chipped or broken teeth, which can result in infections and loss of a tooth.
Can TMJ affect your teeth?
Yes, TMJ can affect the teeth. Known as bruxism, the chronic grinding of teeth can lead to several more compounding complications, such as headaches and damage to the teeth. Over time the friction from grinding wears down the protective enamel of the teeth, making them more sensitive and susceptible to irritations like food particles, beverages, and oral bacteria. If this problem is not appropriately addressed it can lead to cracks, fractures, and breaks in one or more teeth. Fortunately, dentists may be able to help address both TMJ disorders and sensitive teeth. They may use a custom-designed oral appliance or even restorative dental treatments if deemed appropriate.
Can TMJ cause gum discomfort?
Yes, TMJ disorders can cause gum discomfort. In cases of teeth grinding also known as bruxism the teeth can become injured, especially during periods of stress as this often causes people to unconsciously clench or grind their teeth. In many cases, bruxism is more pronounced during sleep. The force created by this clenching and grinding can strain the TMJ while also putting a significant amount of pressure on the teeth and gums. This can cause a dull ache of the teeth and gums and may even cause issues with the gumline becoming more pronounced.
Can you fix TMJ without surgery?
Yes, TMJ dysfunction can be treated without surgery, in the majority of mild to moderate cases. Severe cases, including those with major deformities or malocclusions, may require surgery to resolve issues with the TMJ. Nonsurgical options include:
- TENS — Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a technique that provides pain relief by retraining the muscles in the jaw to find the optimum resting position.
Long-Term Orthotics — These orthotics are custom-fitted around the lower teeth to help them remain in the proper position, thereby reducing TMJ symptoms.
- Orthodontic Treatment — Orthodontic treatments work by straightening or moving teeth to improve their appearance and also the way they work. Braces are a common form of orthodontic treatment and have helped millions of people around the world correct their bite and eliminate jaw discomfort.
- Neuromuscular Dentures — Neuromuscular dentures are different from traditional dentures because they take into consideration the entire structure of the body. In addition to simply replacing teeth, they move the jaw into an optimal position to help create a proper bite, allowing the jaw to relax.
These non-surgical treatments are often enough to improve TMJ disorders, although in severe cases, they may only provide mild relief. A qualified dentist can assess the severity of a TMJ disorder and determine whether or not invasive treatments will be necessary to alleviate its symptoms.
At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we are dedicated to helping you find effective, long-term relief from your TMJ problems. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating TMJ disorders and can help you realign your teeth and jaw for relief that can last a lifetime. Call us today to book an appointment for TMJ treatments. We look forward to serving you!