The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone and skull. However, when TMJ dysfunction occurs, it leads to painful symptoms. There are a number of factors that contribute to TMJ disorders. Common causes of TMJ dysfunction may include trauma to the head or face, misaligned teeth, or stress.
Dr. Sulekha Agrawal treats patients who have TMJ in her Columbia, MD dental office. She takes her patient’s symptoms, digital x-rays, and imaging into account before recommending the right restorative dental treatment.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
There are several things that can lead to a TMJ disorder. While an accident, such as a hard hit to the face, can cause it, most of the time it is caused by other things. These include bite misalignment, stress, overuse, teeth grinding, arthritis, and jaw clenching. People who are under a lot of stress tend to clench their jaw and grind their teeth. Example of overuse include constant gum chewing or nervous habits of chewing on objects.
There are several common signs of TMJ dysfunction, which may include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Face, neck, or shoulder pain
- Tooth wear
- Chronic earaches
- Popping or clicking in the jaw joints
If you have noticed tooth or jaw pain in the morning, or if you suffer from daily headaches, call our Columbia, MD office. TMJ disorders are common causes of headaches and facial pain. We will help create a custom treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Dr. Agrawal will examine the joint tissue and your teeth for wear and tear. She will look for signs of swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue, or damaged joint tissue. By examining the joints and teeth thoroughly she can determine areas of pressure and pain.
A common treatment option for TMJ disorders is oral appliances, night guards worn to stop bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ. Worn during the night, oral appliances keep the teeth from wearing down or causing tooth or jaw pain.
Invisalign can straighten crooked teeth but is not recommended for patients with bruxism. Misaligned or crooked teeth increase patient’s chances of developing TMJ problems or other bite disorders.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
A TMJ disorder is not life threatening however it can lead to damage. Not to mention the jaw pain it creates can be debilitating. Jaw pain can make it hard to chew, speak, and sleep. This leads to depressions in a lot of patients. Teeth grinding can lead to major tooth and gum damage. If your TMJ disorder is caused by teeth grinding, we highly suggest seeking treatment to avoid major dental work.
Contact Columbia, MD Dentist Dr. Sulekha Agrawal
Do you want to stop jaw pain once and for all? Call 410.221.3097 today for an appointment at Columbia Family Dental Care. You may also schedule an appointment in our Columbia, Maryland dental office on our website. We welcome questions from our patients about each aspect of their treatment and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.