Headaches, jaw pain, migraines, and facial soreness can all indicate a condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ or TMD. While symptoms of TMD come and go, they can often worsen over time and make it painful to eat, sleep, speak, and yawn. At Northview Dental of Kokomo, we provide effective treatment to reduce the symptoms associated with TMD and protect your jaw joints.
If you have recently had a car accident or sporting injury involving your jaw, that may be the cause of your pain. It can also come from a nighttime clenching and grinding habit known as bruxism. Long-term bruxism can damage your jaw joints and cause premature wear to your teeth. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth can also be contributing factors when it comes to jaw problems. Some patients never learn the cause of their TMJ pain, but we can help relieve symptoms and protect your teeth!
At our Kokomo dental office, we use 3-D cone beam technology to get a clear picture of your jaw joints and determine the best course of treatment. By using 3-D imaging, we can get a full picture of your joints and your bite.
Other symptoms include:
One course of treatment we often recommend for patients suffering from jaw pain is to wear an occlusal appliance. Occlusion refers to how your teeth come together. An occlusal appliance is a splint that is similar to a nightguard. Your splint can protect your teeth while you sleep, preventing the chips and fractures that often come with a clenching or teeth grinding habit.
Splints also help your jaw to seat in a comfortable position. By addressing how your jaws come together using an occlusal splint, we can help your joints be in their most ideal position so your jaw and facial muscles can relax.
We will take impressions of your teeth along with a bite registration that makes an imprint of the surfaces of your teeth. This allows our dental lab to create a splint that fits well and gives you relief.
When your bite is the cause of your jaw problems, one of our dentists can make tiny adjustments to the surfaces of your teeth so they can come together correctly. This process is called occlusal equilibration and can provide a long-term solution to TMJ pain.
Removing a small amount of enamel from your teeth is a non-invasive way to correct your bite with or without orthodontics. Sometimes just a few small adjustments can make a huge difference in your comfort level. We will likely recommend using a nightguard along with an occlusal equilibration to protect your teeth and keep your jaw relaxed.