When your dentist asks you to open and close your mouth, she’s not just looking to see if your bite is correct, she’s also determining if your jaw hinges open and closes properly.
You’ve probably heard of TMJ disorder and most likely correlate that with lockjaw or a popping of one’s jaw and, yes, it can be either of those ailments but it can also cause many other issues. The temporomandibular joint allows the opening and closing of your jaw and when something with it and the surrounding muscles is not right or if the jaw is not properly aligned, a myriad of minor to major problems can occur.
Left untreated, TMJ disorder can lead to chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, improper bite, tooth wear and tear, lockjaw, arthritis, sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and more.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder may include (but aren’t limited to) headaches, vertigo, facial pain, neck pain, ear pain, clenched or grinding of teeth, difficulty chewing, and yes, jaw pain.
If you suffer from any of the above ailments and you think you’ve tried everything, think again. It might be time to call your dentist. Yes, your dentist.
Your head houses 12 cranial nerves and the trigeminal nerve is the largest and most complex with the ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular branches. Without going too far into detail, this nerve’s roots and branches reach the sensations in your eyes, forehead, and scalp to the middle of your face (upper jaw, cheeks, nose), and lower jaw, lips, and gums. They also help you bite, chew, and swallow.
So, if the jaw joint is out of alignment or not functioning properly it can affect this nerve and in turn, affect more than one area of your face and head. And this is something dentists, especially dentists who have been in practice for quite some time, are knowledgeable about.
That migraine or vertigo you or your friend has had for years or decades that no one has ever been able to treat? It could very well stem from a TMJ disorder and a dentist well versed in treating TMJ disorders is who you should see. Dr. Frazar, DDS is that doctor in Houston.
As no standard test to diagnose TMJ disorders exists, your treatment at The Houston Dentists starts with a physical exam, including a review of your health history and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Next, we discuss your TMJ treatment options, which may include:
- Making changes to your diet and habits — for example, no more chewing gum!
- Creating a custom device to adjust the alignment of your jaw
- Designing a bite guard to prevent tooth grinding and stress on your TMJ
- HomeoBlock™ or FacialBlocks™ treatments from BreathEZz that help bring about greater facial symmetry
- Prescribing pain medication or anti-inflammatories to provide relief from TMJ pain
- Helping you develop methods to lower your stress levels
- TruDenta therapy
Contact us today at (713) 668-7137 to find out how we can help you with your TMJ disorder.