Do you have clicking in your jaw joint? Are your jaw muscle always tired? Do you wake up in the middle of the night with your teeth clinched together?
What is TMD/TMJ?
TMJ/TMD refers to jaw problems that are reflected by popping or clicking of the jaw and are often related to trauma, alignment of the teeth, or grinding. TMJ problems often have simple solutions but if left untreated they can lead to debilitating pain and severe tooth wear. Here are some of the causes.
* poorly aligned bite
* unusual chewing or speaking movement
* clenching and/or grinding of the teeth
* prolonged and/or frequent chewing and/or biting of hard foods and objects
* degenerative diseases
Worn teeth are usually the result of grinding or teeth that do not fit together properly. Worn or chipping teeth are signs of this problem. Worn teeth are usually issues with the occlusion (the way the teeth fit together). We can often prevent further wear by using appliances such as night guards but in order to fix the cause of the problem it is important to treat the occlusion.
With normal chewing, biting forces do not cause teeth to be loose unless there is an infection or periodontal disease (bone loss). Clenching or excessive biting forces can loosen teeth that have healthy bone. This can be the result of tooth place in the wrong position by orthodontics or by skelital problems leading to the teeth not fitting together properly. If not treated this can lead to premature tooth loss
Your teeth and bite should change very little and remain symptom free throughout your entire life. Like many other diseases, it may take many years before you become aware of the damage that is occurring because many of the problems seem unrelated to your bite. The teeth, muscles, and jaw joint must work in harmony when you chew. If some teeth touch incorrectly when you chew, your body will try to compensate for this problem and injury to your teeth, muscles, or jaw joint is likely to occur.
Other symptoms/problems include:
Cracked or Broken Teeth
Sore or stiff jaw muscles
Pain when chewing
Grinding or squeezing your teeth
Shifting bite / open spaces between teeth
Crowded teeth Jaw joint pain and/or sounds: clicking, popping, grating
Limited jaw opening
Treatments for TMJ Disorder
Treatment Options Include :
Tooth Protection Therapy
How do I know if I’m at risk for TMJ Disorder?
Answer the questions below to learn your risk level for bite problems
1. Do you have problems with your jaw joint? (pain, sounds, limited opening, locking, popping)
2. Do you / would you have any problems chewing gum?
3. Do you / would you have any problems chewing bagels, baguettes, protein bars, or other hard foods?
4. Have your teeth changed in the last 3 years, become shorter, thinner or worn?
5. Are your teeth crowing or developing spaces?
6. Do you have more than one bite and squeeze to make your teeth fit together?
7. Do you chew ice, bite your nails, use your teeth to hold objects, or have any other oral habits?
8. Do you clench your teeth in the daytime or made them sore?
9. Do you have any problems with sleep or wake up with an awareness of your teeth?
10. Do you wear or have you ever worn a bit appliance?
If you answered yes to some or multiple of the above questions feel free to schedule a consultation for treatment with Dr. Spath for TMJ Newport Beach.