TMJ Awareness Month

TMJ Awareness Month

TMJ Awareness month - ThoroughDent SMilesDo you wake up in the morning with discomfort in your jaw? Perhaps you struggle with chronic headaches? It is possible that you could be struggling with a condition known as TMD. The majority of those who do have TMD don’t even know that they have the condition. Sometimes,  it is pointed out by someone who sleeps beside them or even by their dentist in Georgetown, KY.

Since November is TMJ Awareness Month, our team is taking this opportunity to help our patients better understand what TMJ/TMD is. Additionally, we will be covering how TMJ can be treated.

Understanding TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge-like joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. In normal circumstances, it moves smoothly to allow your mouth to open and close with ease. The TMJ joints, located on each side of your jaw, can become injured, inflamed, or misaligned. This may result in discomfort, pain, and damage to your teeth.

While it is not always certain what is to blame for TMJ disorders, it can be as the result of a few different things. Examples are overuse, stress, injury, teeth grinding, and other types of behaviors that result in stress to the jaw.

Do You Have TMJ Disorder?

So, just how can you tell if you have TMJ disorder? When you visit our Georgetown dental clinic, we can help you to determine whether the signs you’re experiencing are related to TMJ. Some of the common signs of TMJ disorder could include the following.

  • Tenderness in your jaw, without any other apparent cause
  • Discomfort around your ears
  • Discomfort when opening and closing your jaw
  • Struggling to chew
  • Tensions migraines, with shoulder and neck pain
  • Damage to your teeth, which could include cracking and chipping most often associated with grinding

When you visit with your family dentist in Georgetown, KY you will have the opportunity to discuss these dental concerns. 

Who Does TMJ Disorder Affect?

TMJ disorder can become a concern faced by both men and women, of all ages. We asked our friends over at Gentle Dental Group, dentistry in Bethlehem, GA, what other research they’ve conducted on TMJ. Dr. Hoang explains that there is some data to support that it does tend to impact women more than men. As injury can be sustained at any time, it is also possible for children and adolescents to have this uncomfortable jaw disorder.

Treating TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can lead to a number of concerns, including discomfort and outright pain. The good news is that the symptoms can be minimized and even completely eliminated, with the right treatment. Your Georgetown, KY dentist will be able to offer some treatment options to provide you some relief.

After a diagnosis, your dentist in Georgetown, KY may recommend getting a custom-made oral appliance. Also known as a TMJ splint, this device can be created to fit your mouth comfortably. This splint will be worn while you sleep, and will position your jaw in a manner that decreases tension while you sleep. It can also help to keep you from grinding and clenching your teeth. Your dentist may be able to show you what they’re seeing through a dental camera

There are also some steps that you can take at home, to help provide a measure of relief.

  • Keep your diet healthy, with softer foods that don’t require as much tension from your jaw to chew. 
  • Skip the chewing gum. As much as it can freshen your breath, it can also mean extra work for a jaw that is already fatigued.
  • Massage the muscles surrounding your jaw, gently. This should help to relieve some of the tension.
  • Find stress-relieving techniques that work for you. Whether that includes running, yoga or meditation.

Remember that maintaining your hygiene appointments allows your dentist to identify any potential problems.

Visit ThoroughDent Smiles for TMJ

Visit the best dentist in Georgetown, KY to maintain your oral wellness. Whether you’re looking for an emergency dentist in Georgetown or you’re in need of root canal therapy, patients know they can rely on ThoroughDent Smiles to keep them healthy and smiling.