Taking a Look at TMJ Disorder

There may be more factors to your oral health than you’re usually aware of. For example, you’re reminded every day about the importance of your teeth and gums when you brush and floss them. However, how often do you think about the muscles and joints that allow you to bite and chew? TMJ disorder is an affliction that makes it harder for these joints and muscles to move, and can lead to a wide range of chronic, increasingly worse aches and pains. At our Auburn Hills, MI, dental office, we may be able to help you improve your bite function and alleviate these symptoms with custom-designed TMJ treatment.

Understanding what TMJ disorder means

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and refers to the two large joints that control your jaw’s movement. The two joints must work together as your jaw opens, closes, and moves. Otherwise, one or both of them can become damaged, inflamed, or more due to the uneven pressure and function. TMJ disorder is the resulting pain and damage that results to your jaw joints, and this specific damage may be different for everyone. In most cases, however, having TMJ disorder means experiencing one or more of a wide range of symptoms, including chronic jaw and facial pain, headaches, popping jaw, and more.

What your risk factors might be

Because TMJ disorder can be different for everyone, the risk factors for developing it span a wide array of concerns. For example, if you constantly grind your teeth (a condition known as bruxism), then the constant pressure and friction can exhaust and damage your TMJs. If your teeth are out of alignment, then the stress of accommodating it every time you bite and chew may also contribute to TMJ disorder. Fortunately, keeping up with regular visits to your dentist will improve your chances of detecting any TMJ risk factors and improving your bite function early, before you experience severe discomfort.

What your treatment options are

Treating TMJ disorder can often be accomplished in a comfortable and conservative manner. For instance, for many patients, the condition can be alleviated with a custom-designed oral appliance. The appliance can be designed to accommodate your lower jaw in a more comfortable position while you sleep, which helps alleviate any undue stress or pressure so that the joints can heal. If necessary, you may also need to address the underlying condition, such as by straightening your crooked teeth.

Learn more about TMJ disorder

If you have TMJ disorder, then it may have a significant impact on your oral health and quality of life. To learn more about how to treat TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI today at (248) 852-1820.