The has is an important part of the human anatomy. It allows the ability to chew and speak. With the ability to chew, it is impossible to eat anything beyond pureed foods. Also, speech requires many jaw movements. The human jaw is composed of several parts including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and a bone joint. Each of these components is necessary to give the jaw the ability to move the ways it needs to. Unfortunately, there are times when a problem known as TMJ disorder occurs which keeps the jaw from being able to move properly. TMJ stands for a temporomandibular joint which is the scientific name of hinge area of the jaw. Sometimes the components of the TMJ become damaged, which affects the jaws ability to move. Of course, this then affects that person’s ability to do everyday things such as eat and speak. This disorder can be caused by myriad things including, but not limited to, grinding teeth, an injury, bad tooth alignments, and an unaligned jaw. Thankfully, there are several treatments available that can ease the symptoms of TMJ disorder, sometimes eradicate them entirely. What you will find here is a list of information on how a dentist can help with TMJ disorder as well as information on other treatment options.
The first thing to understand is that a dentist is not just a “tooth doctor”. The mouth is a complex system and must be treated as such. It is not possible to completely treat one part of the system unless you understand the entire system. Teeth are only one part of the system that is the human mouth. Also, there are several instances where the teeth can directly impact the jaw, including the temporomandibular joint. Some of the most common ways a person’s teeth can impact the TMJ is through grinding and clenching. These two things are very similar and both put undue stress on the jaw, particularly the TMJ. When this occurs, there are several ways a dentist can provide some much-needed relief. Also, if the problem stems from the teeth being out of alignment, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.
If you are not sure what is causing your problem, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. A dentist is a good place to start, but if you are not comfortable with that, see your general practitioner instead. They will be able to guide you from there on what steps you need to take. Regardless of which way you decide to begin, be sure to inquire about your options. Ask your doctor how do you treat TMJ and he or she will be able to list options that are available and inform you about what may be required to determine the severity of your TMJ disorder.
If your TMJ pain is being caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, a dentist will likely recommend a custom bite guard sometimes referred to as a bite plate. The dentist will be able to create a special guard that fits snuggly in the mouth, against the teeth. This does two things; first, it relieves the pressure and strain on the jaw. Second, it protects the teeth themselves. Both of these things are incredibly important so that you can protect your entire mouth. The dentist will be able to advise you on the best times to have the guard in when to take it out, and the best way to keep it clean. If the problem is coming from the teeth being misaligned, the dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist so that you can be fitted for braces. It is vital that the teeth be brought into proper alignment so that the strain on the joint can be alleviated. It will take some time as the braces do their job, but once the treatment is complete, your pain may be entirely alleviated. Even if it is not a complete fix, it will lessen the pain exponentially.
If you do not already have a dentist, or do not know whether or not your dentist can treat TMJ, there are a few simple steps that you can follow. If you have a dentist, but do not know if they will treat TMJ, there is only one step needed. All you have to do is contact your dental office and ask. If the secretary does not immediately have the answers you need, they will be able to get the information fairly easily. If you do not currently have a dentist, it does not take a great deal of effort to find an excellent one. All you have to do is compile a list of options, sort through them, determine what you need, and make the best decision possible. Start by searching the internet to find all of the listings for dentists in your area. This is incredibly easy, all you have to do is open your favorite browser, type in relevant keywords, and peruse the results. Once you have compiled a list, you will need to determine what you need from the dental office that you choose. Consider things like location, office hours, and whether or not they accept your insurance. Once you know what you are looking for, you can sort through your options and determine which ones are the best candidates. You should also consider asking friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations.
When dealing with teeth clenching, there is often an underlying problem of stress. This means that the best way to fully combat the problem is to deal with your stress levels and find ways to lessen the stress. Of course, this does not mean that you do not need to see a dentist and get fitted for a mouth guard. Although, this is only part of the necessary process. Once you have a guard to ease the pressure on your TMJ, the next step is learning ways to deal with your stress levels. Obviously, the best option is to get rid of the stress altogether, but this is not always a possibility. When you cannot get rid of your stress, you will have to find a way through it. One of the best tools that you can utilize is deep breathing.