Do you suffer from headaches, ear pain, clicking and popping of jaw joints, and limited range of opening – do you wake in the morning with discomfort in you facial muscles and experience pain opening your mouth? These symptoms are associated with TMJ disorder – and can also happen as a result of injury, arthritis, skeletal deficiencies and the daily habit of clenching and grinding.
General Dentists at Ranchlands Dental in NW Calgary explain that the pain that accompanies TMJ disorder (TMD) may also be coming from facial muscles – and is a result of muscles tightening during a bout of clenching and grinding. Often the first step in creating relief for patients who suffer from jaw joint discomfort is to relax the facial muscles, as just like any other joint in the body, when muscles are shortened and tight a joint can be pulled out of its healthy position – causing pain and inflammation.
Pain killers can seem like the only solution for handling the discomfort that accompanies TMD – but the reality is that there are dental treatments available that not only control the pain, but correct the underlying cause. Patients requiring Orthodontic Treatment tend to experience more TMJ discomfort that patients who present with healthy bites. It makes sense that pain would be an issue for those who can’t get their teeth to touch, without contorting their lower jaw or having muscles work way too hard to get top and bottom jaws to align. Many patients report an improvement in their TMJ discomfort once orthodontic treatment has started – so an Orthodontic Consultation can be a great place to start in addressing TMJ concerns.
If the option of wearing braces just isn’t for you – don’t give up on finding a solution – as there are still other dental options that address TMJ discomfort. Often the most overlooked but beneficial appliance is a night guard – used to protect teeth during grinding but also as a tool for relaxing facial muscles. And more specific and customized appliances can be made to help a patient deal with pain and establish a restorative solution to correct deficiencies in the bite that may be causing jaw joint issues.