Dentist Gambrills, MD
TMJ which is the abbreviated annotation of the temporomandibular joint, joining the lower jaw to the side of the skull. This joint is crucial to normal jaw functionality. When it has issues, whether from inflammation or something else like a serious infection, patients are considered to be suffering TMD or temporomandibular disorders. While the general public tends to mix these two terms up, they are markedly different.
Some patients suffer from TMD, and may experience pain in their ears, difficulty chewing, and a noticeable clicking in their jaw as they eat. Those who have problems with their TMJ, need to seek treatment before the condition worsens. We are always available to provide you with information or an assessment. Come see us today at Dr. Antonino Barbaro Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for more information.
Bruxism is considered to be the biggest contributor to TMD issues. Bruxism is the descriptive technical term for grinding teeth or jaw clenching. While this can occur more frequently while patients are asleep, it can happen during waking hours too. If left untreated, patients can eventually have misalignment problems with their teeth and jaw which can turn into more drastic erosion of their teeth and tum tissue.
It can go unnoticed for long periods of time because in many cases, the symptoms go unnoticed due to the limited severity of them. Patients are not aware they are grinding their teeth and if they live alone or their partner does not hear them grinding their teeth at night it will remain unnoticed.
Sometimes, patients will awake clenching their teeth or will feel soreness at the TMJ site. They may also realize they have clicking sounds associated with chewing motion while they eat.
Bruxism comes in two different varieties. They are very easy to discern. Awake bruxism occurs, just as it suggests, while patients are awake. This typically has a behavioral cause. Stress is the most significant of those causes. It can generate anxiety and other emotional stressors which can impact the genesis of waking bruxism.
The second type has a genetic cause and is known as sleep bruxism. This occurs during the sleep cycle. Those patients who have a known family history of sleep bruxism are far more likely to develop it than those who do not. Epilepsy can also increase the chance of developing sleep bruxism too as can dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Stress relieving techniques can be adopted to cope with increased levels of anxiety. Also, wearing a mouthguard, also known as a nightguard, can alleviate these symptoms as well by keeping the upper and lower jaw apart so the teeth do not make contact.
Those who have been suffering from long term problems with their TMJ or who have been diagnosed with TMD problems need to have them addressed to correct the issue. Come see us today at Dr. Antonino Barbaro Cosmetic & Family Dentistry so we can address them and develop a treatment plan. We can be reached by phone as well to discuss your treatment. Call us at (443) 300-0400 to schedule your appointment and begin your treatment. The sooner treatment starts the better the outcome and the less chance there is of developing more severe problems.