Jaw pain, discomfort when chewing, worn teeth and frequent headaches are a few of the common symptoms of a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Commonly called TMJ, a temporomandibular disorder is the result of a range of factors affecting the function of the bite.
A Dawson Academy trained dentist, Dr. Durning Moore can offer patients experienced diagnostic care for the treatment of a TMD disorder. We take a comprehensive approach that includes an evaluation of jaw joint health and function to relieve pain, almost instantly.
Dr. Moore works with you to diagnose the underlying cause of your TMJ pain symptoms. This enables him to diagnose and treat bite disorders with personalized and effective restorative dental care in a timely manner.
Teeth grinding and Temporomandibular Joints
Many patients who have a bite disorder or TMD also grind their teeth. Bruxism can often be the result of a bite that does not allow the teeth to make proper contact, leading to increasing tension in the jaw joints. Common signs of teeth grinding can include:
- Worn teeth, teeth that appear flat
- Frequent facial pain
- Cracked teeth
- Jaw pain in the morning
- Changes in the fit or comfort of the bite
- Odd pressure when you open and close your mouth
- Head, neck or ear pain, especially in the morning
Dr. Moore looks for the signs of teeth grinding and TMD during routine dental visits with the goal of offering early intervention to help patients avoid complex problems and damage.
What causes TMJ Issues and Pain?
A number of factors can cause a temporomandibular joint disorder, including:
- Oral trauma
- frequently clenching or grinding your teeth
- Structural imbalance in the fit of the bite, jaw joints
- Crooked teeth, malocclusion
- Stress-induced teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Lifestyle habits
Treating TMJ issues can minimize or eliminate uncomfortable symptoms and stabilize your long term dental health. A bite that feels good, functions naturally and allows the teeth to make proper contact minimizes the risk for tooth damage, gum disease, and jaw joint tension.
Addressing TMJ Issues at Charlotte Center for Complete Dentistry
First, Dr. Moore will conduct a thorough exam and discuss your symptoms, concerns, and goals. Then he will present a plan of treatment to restore a balanced bite and improved quality of life. Treatment for a TMD can vary from patient to patient, depending on the unique issues of each patient. If there is tooth damage, your treatment may include restorative procedures to repair your tooth structure.
Dr. Moore will personalize your treatment to your needs, often incorporating general and restorative procedures. A TMJ treatment plan may include:
- Mouthguards: The use of an oral appliance like a custom mouthguard is one of the most effective means of treating teeth grinding and other bite problems. It may be the only treatment for mild cases or the foundation of treatment for more complex situations. A TMD mouthguard will allow the teeth to make proper contact and the jaw muscles to relax.
- Restorative Dentistry: If teeth are damaged or the biting surface needs adjustment, Dr. Moore may use a dental restoration to address the problem. For example, he can recommend dental crowns and tooth bonding.
- Orthodontics: To realign the bite if there are crooked teeth or malocclusion, braces are the solution. Dr. Moore offers Invisalign for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions about TMJ Disorders
Can sleeping on your stomach cause TMJ pain?
Sleeping on your stomach does not necessarily cause TMJ pain, but is a contributing factor to TMD symptoms. It can make symptoms worse because of the pressure that the weight of your head can put on your jaw. Sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position for patients with TMJ disorders.
What is the best treatment for TMJ disorders?
The best treatment for your TMJ issues will depend on how severe your symptoms are. A common non-invasive treatment among our patients is a custom mouthguard or night guard that helps align your jaw while you sleep.
What happens if TMJ pain is left untreated?
TMJ issues may get worse if you do not address them in time. Although there is no telling if this will happen since this issue can come and go, and can affect everyone differently. Some patients may need immediate treatment, while others might not even know that they are experiencing common symptoms. The best thing to do is get an evaluation for TMD by your dentist before deciding how to proceed.
Schedule A Dental Exam with our Dentists in Charlotte, NC
Dr. Durning Moore welcomes new patients! He can provide pain relief and the care you need to address the effects of a bite disorder. To schedule an appointment in our Charlotte, NC dental office contact us at (704) 761-7870 or request an appointment online.