Estimates suggest that over 10 million Americans are afflicted with TMJ disorders. This is an estimate because most cases remain undiagnosed. If you suffer from chronic teeth grinding, jaw pain, headaches or migraines, you may be suffering from TMJ. Many patients are unaware that these issues are symptoms of a larger problem with your jaw joint. Thankfully, your Houston dentist has a simple, non-invasive solution for you!
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TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. To make things confusing, the two terms are often used interchangeably and are sometimes also called TMJD. To make things simple, we will use TMJ here to refer to the jaw joint, as well as the dysfunction of the jaw joint, as this is the most commonly used term.
TMJ is characterized by:
One of the primary causes of TMJ is stress. We all hold our stress in different parts of our body – some people have restless legs, some people clench their fists, but many of us hold stress in our jaw. The result is often the constant clenching and grinding of the teeth. Whether bruxism is a cause or a result of TMJ is difficult to determine, the two go hand in hand (chicken or egg?).
TMJ can also be caused by malocclusion or problems with your teeth alignment and bite. The TMJ is a complex structure made up of the jaw joint (ball and socket), as well as muscles and tendons that all need to work together in tandem. If anything is off, it can cause TMJ dysfunction. There have also been many cases of TMJ reported following a traumatic oral injury or accident that disrupts the delicate balance of the joint.
Research concludes that about 90% of reported TMJ cases are found in women. While this may be partially due to the fact that women are more likely to report pain and health problems, there are other reasons this may be the case.
If any of the above sounds familiar, we may have just the solution for you. We use a custom oral appliance or mouth guard that you wear during sleep. This effectively prevents the harsh teeth grinding and clenching that occurs night after night, finally giving your TMJ time to rest and heal. Oral appliance therapy doesn’t just treat your pain but prevents it from happening in the first place.
This is a wonderful, non-invasive alternative for patients who don’t want to try more prescription medications and want to avoid the need for invasive surgery later. Your mouth guard will be custom made to perfectly fit your mouth so it’s comfortable and convenient to wear. Imagine waking up and living a life free from chronic myofascial pain.
If you’re ready to take control of your life and finally get the pain relief you deserve, we would love to speak with you about TMJ treatment.
If you have any questions about TMJ or would like to schedule a consultation with your Houston dentist, Dr. Susan Ellison at Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics, give us a call today or schedule an appointment online! We have two convenient locations in the neighborhoods of Cypress and Memorial to serve you.
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