Jaw pain, headaches, ear pain and difficulty chewing comfortably are all common signs of a possible temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Commonly called TMJ, a TMD is often related to dysfunction in the jaw joint(s). This can be caused by:
- Genetics, development issues
- Malocclusion, crooked teeth
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching as a result of stress
A reputable and highly-trained restorative dentist in Strongsville, Dr. Leah Butler provides diagnosis and treatment for TMJ and bite disorders. Resolving your dental health problems can reduce or eliminate discomfort and minimize the risk of other dental concerns such as tooth damage. If you are experiencing any of the common signs of TMJ or are concerned that you may be grinding your teeth at night, schedule a visit with Dr. Butler at Butler Family Dentistry for an evaluation of your dental health.
Common Signs of TMJ:
- Tired jaws, jaw pain
- Clicking or popping jaw
- Ear pain, feeling of fullness
- Neck pain
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Teeth appear worn or flat
- Cracked teeth
Teeth grinding is both a sign and possible cause of a bite disorder or TMJ. Stress and malocclusion can lead to teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which increase muscle tension in the jaw. A genetic issue that impacted jaw development and structure can also lead to teeth grinding if the position of the jaw is preventing the teeth from making proper contact when biting.
Dr. Butler will evaluate the fit and function of your bite to look for signs of instability that could be an underlying cause of your discomfort. Treating the root problem of a TMD is the key to a lasting result and long term stability in your smile.
Treatment for TMJ: What are the options?
Dr. Butler takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating your dental health and treating the symptoms of TMJ. She will recommend the most suitable options(s) for your unique needs, any existing damage and the condition of your jaw joints.
- Mouthguards and splint therapy: a custom mouthguard or splint is often the first line of treatment for TMJ. These oral appliances that are typically worn when sleeping are designed to reposition the jaw so that the joints and muscles can relax and the teeth can make proper contact.
- Restorative dental treatments: if there is a need to address worn, chipped or cracked teeth Dr. Butler may recommend one or more restorative treatments such as tooth bonding or a dental crown. This type of treatment may also be used to realign the biting surfaces of the teeth to allow them to make contact without stressing the jaw joints or placing pressure on the tooth surfaces.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion or tooth position if considered the cause of TMJ symptoms or a bite problem. Dr. Butler offers clear braces for mild to moderate orthodontic concerns.