Millions of smiles suffer from TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Without care to correct this disorder, major discomfort and serious complications would develop. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS, prosthodontist talks about we can ease issues like TMD with oral appliance therapy.
The Dangers of Untreated TMD
The disorder impacts our jaw joints, which connect the jaw and skull and allow us to eat and speak without difficulty. The resulting strain from the disorder could complicate how we eat and speak. This could also lead to related complications, like bruxism, which further endanger our smiles.
Causes and Warning Signs
TMD could develop due to strain on the jaw joints, caused by factors like tooth loss, malocclusion, injury to the face or jaw, or even problems with the growth and development of your oral structures. These could lead to a number of potential symptoms, such as jaw pain, headaches, migraines, and aches in the face, neck, and shoulders. Other warning signs include a popping or cracking sensation in the jaw. If you experience one or more of these possible problems, please let us know right away so we can examine your smile and offer the most appropriate treatment option.
The result of untreated TMJ disorder could be bruxism, and vice versa. This is chronic teeth grinding and clenching, which wears down enamel and could even crack or chip a tooth, leading to tooth decay, infection, and painful aches and sensitivity.
Treatment could include tooth replacement, such as bridges, dentures, or implant dentistry. We could also use crowns to restore balance to the smile and ease stress on the joints. But the most common solution is an oral appliance. The device will look and fit like a mouthguard, and is created based on detailed digital x-rays and intraoral camera images we take of your smile. Worn as you sleep, this repositions the jaw to ease stress and fight symptoms. If you grind your teeth, this prevents further damage by putting a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. If a tooth has been damaged, we can offer repair with options like crowns.
If you have any questions about how to diagnose and treat issues like TMD or bruxism, then contact our team today to learn more. Don’t suffer with serious discomfort or the risk of damaged and decayed teeth. Instead, talk to your prosthodontist so we can plan treatment that restores function, health, and beauty to your smile.
Ready for Prosthodontic Dental Care?
Contact Dr. Stuart Dexter, Prosthodontist in Prairie Village, KS by calling 913-362-8200 to schedule your next appointment with our office, and learn how we can restore balance and function to your smile with custom-made treatment options.