Usually, you start to notice a little discomfort or stiffness in your jaw one day. It’s not that big of a deal, so you ignore it and get on with your day. Then you realize it’s getting slowly worse. The discomfort melds into pain, especially when you chew. That mild stiffness turns into strange noises when you open your mouth, which gets to be difficult at times.
If this is you, then you need to call 1st In Smiles today at 972-905-9266 and get TMJ treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Barfield works with a TMJ specialist to ensure you are properly diagnosed and treated. Unless you take care of this problem, the pain and stiffness in your jaw joints (or TMJs) will just get worse.
Enjoy Customized Treatments
When you have TMJ disorder, the muscles in your jaw joints don’t rest. Maybe you’re clenching your jaw without realizing it, or maybe you grind your teeth at night thanks to stress. Either way, your TMJ should heal up when you’re resting. But with this disorder, they do not. That means the muscles get overworked and start giving you pain and stiffness.
It also means leaving it alone probably won’t do anything. In fact, ignoring TMJ disorder can make things worse.
Then what can a dentist do? Thankfully, our team knows how to help with splint therapy. Also called night guard therapy, this uses a smooth, simple dental appliance that fits over your teeth. It’s customized to your smile, so it will rest comfortably on your smile as you sleep. This does two things for your TMJ disorder.
- If you are grinding your teeth, and many people with TMJ problems do this, the splint protects your teeth and stops them from damaging each other.
- The splint takes some pressure off your jaw joints. This mean they can rest and heal naturally like they should.
While there are over-the-counter night guards available, they are not customized for you. It’s easier to have problems with the therapy that way. It’s also less effective at helping with jaw joint pain and stiffness.
Watch For These TMD Signs
How do you know if you have problems with your jaw joints? Sometimes there are no symptoms, which is why regular dental visits are so important. That said, be on the lookout for any of these signs of TMJ disorder.
- Pain in your jaw, neck, or upper back and shoulders.
- Headaches and migraines.
- A popping or clicking noise when you move your jaw.
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
To help avoid needing splint therapy, do what you can to lower your stress levels. Chew with both sides of your mouth (so one joint doesn’t get overused), don’t chew hard things like ice, and never use your mouth to hold things. All of that can put too much stress on your TMJ and create this problem.