Taking care of your teeth and other oral structures is a lifelong process, and one that certainly requires more effort than most individuals routinely put into it. Indeed, a well-rounded preventive routine should be able to address multiple aspects that contribute to your oral health so that you can avoid the effects of tooth decay, gum disease, and more. Still, sometimes nontraditional concerns can complicate our health, and without the necessary treatment, they can grow into even bigger concerns down the line. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS prosthodontist explores the dangerous phenomenon known as TMJ disorder and what steps you can take to ensure a healthy smile.
When Teeth Grinding Becomes Chronic
When asked about factors that influence a smile’s health, the most common answers received include tooth decay, gum disease and infection, and plaque-related concerns. Still, that is not to say that other threats do not exist. In fact, a variety of other circumstances can lead to oral complications, even if they do not seemingly appear a major influencer. For example, bruxism – the process of tightly clenching teeth together and moving the lower jaw from side to side – damages your structures by actively wearing down the protective layer of enamel that encases them.
While it can be difficult to discern if you grind your teeth while you sleep or not, there are a few telltale signs that you can be on the lookout for. For instance, awaking with a sore or tense jaw, as well as difficulty opening the mouth fully can indicate you are grinding your teeth at night.
In addition to wearing down your structures, chronic bruxism can lead to a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. Contact our team today to learn more about this process and what your options are.
Developing Jaw Dysfunction
TMJ disorder occurs when a person’s lower mandible becomes misaligned or dislocated from one or both of the two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) from which it hinges to the cranium. As a result, a person with TMJ disorder may experience a noticeable popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, difficulty opening their mouths fully, and even significant tissue damage. Reach out today to learn more.
Benefits of Splint Therapy
While TMJ is certainly not a situation that should be taken lightly, it can be treated. Indeed, our team can provide a comprehensive list of options, including guided splint therapy to address the concern. What’s more? We can even set you up with a custom oral appliance to help prevent damage from bruxism on your teeth.
Book Your Appointment
Contact Dr. Stuart Dexter, Prosthodontist in Prairie Village, KS by calling 913-362-8200 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about the dangers of TMJ disorder.