Teeth aren’t the only things that an experienced Buckhead dentist like Dr. Jolanda Warren of Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry can help with. She also offers TMJ therapy in her dental practice. Your temporomandibular joint or TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. Problems with this particular joint can affect how you talk and chew, and these TMJ problems are collectively called temporomandibular disorders or TMD. Though there’s no definite cause for these disorders, scientists have a laundry list of suspects: damage to the muscles, grinding teeth, arthritis, and stress.
No matter what the cause, TMD will result in a similar set of symptoms. The primary sign is pain in the jaw. This is usually focused on the chewing muscles and jaw joint, though the pain can radiate toward your shoulders. The pain can also lead to headaches, dizziness, and migraines. Another sign of TMD is when you experience occasional ringing in the ears. This is no surprise since the TMJ is located near the ears. It can become severe enough that you may experience hearing loss and pain in your ears.
Further signs of TMD are clicking, grating, or popping sounds whenever the mouth opens. This is a sign that the disc that is the main part of the joint is out of alignment. This can get problematic when the jaw locks or moves out of position resulting in misaligned teeth and an odd bite.
Since it affects your teeth and jaw, a reliable dentist in Buckhead
is one of your options as a source of both treatment and even advice. They would be able to recommend several options. For those who don’t have the advanced symptoms of TMD, a dentist can instruct on a few self-care practices. This includes eating soft foods, placing ice packs on the painful areas to ease the swelling, and being careful about jaw movements are just some of the things a dentist would likely recommend. Stretching and relaxation exercises can also be learned to ease the stress on the joint.
For a more straightforward solution, dentists can apply a stabilization splint. Also called bite guards, they are plastic mouth guards placed over your teeth. This keeps your teeth in alignment and can prevent your teeth from being damaged due to grinding. Splints are used 24/7, which can make them quite uncomfortable. There is also a variation that is only used at night when sleeping called a night guard.