Painful, popping jaws? - We're here to help you
The jaw joint (temporomandibular joint, TMJ) is a hugely important and heavily used part of our body, that performs vital functions. Because it is the joint we use to open and close our mouth; it helps us chew, swallow and speak. These are all processes we take for granted as part of our everyday life, which makes sudden painful problems with the TMJ all the worse. Many patients don’t feel the pain in the jaw itself, but find themselves suffering from constant headaches or neck tension, a common consequence of jaw misalignments. Whether the pain is in the jaw directly, or you have inexplicable head and neck pain, a visit to the dentist can help. A functional diagnosis of the jaw will identify the cause of the TMJ pain, and determine the extent to which this pain is radiating to other parts of the body. Based on this diagnosis, a treatment plan is developed to permanently rid you of your jaw problems and their effects.
What is a night guard? And how does it help combat jaw pain?
If your jaws are sore or pop during the day, it is often a result of what you’re doing at night. Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, unintentionally putting pressure on the teeth and TMJ. The TMJ tenses up and no longer functions smoothly. In these cases, an occlusal splint can work wonders. Individually crafted by the dentist, the plastic splint is worn at night, prevents grinding, and takes pressure off the masticatory system. The jaws can relax, allowing the complaints to disappear for good. In addition to the night guard, there are other therapies available to treat TMJ issues, depending on the diagnosis. An ill-fitting dental prosthesis or unnaturally formed teeth, for example, may be equally responsible for painful jaws. In these instances, replacing the dental prosthesis or grinding off the troublesome tooth may help.
If you too suffer from jaw pain, a popping jaw, or night-time grinding, simply book an appointment at our practice. We’ll be glad to assist you.