How do you know if you have TMj and how can you best treat it?
Do you ever find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth? It’s something many people do, and often times it’s done without thinking. It’s likely done out of habit, stress, or nervousness, and it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Not only that, if you find yourself overexerting your jaw and jaw muscles, it can lead to another issue: temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Commonly known as TMJ or TMD, this is a disorder centered around your jaw and the muscles that allow you to open your mouth (known as muscles of mastication). If your jaw tends to “pop” or “click” when you open it, there’s a higher chance that your jaw muscles can become overworked. This could result in uncomfortable aches and pains, which all stem from these muscles. The joint is already a bit stressed from being opened regularly, so if it becomes further stressed, it can result in intense pain. This pain can either be temporary or chronic, depending on the severity of your condition.
Some of the ways you can treat TMJ range from home remedies to injectables courtesy of medical professionals. You can put warm and cold packs on your cheeks to reduce swelling; these packs are alternated until your joints are feeling better.
If you feel you need more done, you can ask your dentist to provide you with injectables such as Botox, which relax the muscles and relieve jaw tension. It might not seem like an obvious solution, but Botox has indeed proven to be a successful way to relieve the symptoms of TMJ. This is especially useful if you find yourself with chronic pain, as opposed to temporary.
Another option comes in the form of occlusal guards. Night guards specifically are recommended for those who find themselves grinding or clenching during their sleep. These same types of guards can also be used during the day, if necessary.
Occlusal guards for clenching and grinding are made of tough material that can withstand strong bites and grinds. However, the material isn’t hard, but soft, which makes it more comfortable for the wearer, especially during sleep. This is different from guards made for athletes, which are more absorbent, and are made for protecting the gums and teeth while you’re doing strenuous activities.
These guards are best when they are specifically suited for your teeth, so if you’re interested in occlusal guards, it is recommended you go to your dentist to be properly fitted. However, you do have the option of buying guards from stores that sell them; it’s a more affordable option, but not the best if you’re serious about protecting your teeth.
If you feel like you need to protect your teeth and are interested in getting mouthguards, come to Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique in Ft. Lauderdale. We’ll be able to make custom fitting guards to best protect your teeth, whether it’s from grinding or sports activities. And if you find your jaw hurting, or your jaw muscles feeling stressed, also come by and we’ll be able to offer you the solution that best suits you. At Dr Patty’s Dental Boutique you’ll not only find excellent dental care, you’ll also experience a soothing and welcoming atmosphere. Call us at 954-914-7407 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.