If you wake up with jaw discomfort and pain in your head and neck, you might be grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep! TMJ therapy can be used to relieve the pain and discomfort of jaw issues related to TMJ.
TMJ is often used when referring to the temporomandibular (jaw) joint, but TMD refers to the temporomandibular disorder involving clenching, grinding or other disorders of the joint. TMD is a condition that affects the jaw joints and muscles that allow you to chew, swallow, and speak. Problems with these joints can impair everyday function and damages the teeth and/or the joint. TMD, depending on its severity, can cause a lot of discomfort!
TMD can be caused by misalignment of teeth (possibly from past dental work), trauma, or excessive muscle tension (due to stress). Both mild and severe TMD symptoms can be managed through TMJ therapy.
Your first appointment with Dr. Kim will help with diagnosis. Your dentist will look at how the jaw muscles are functioning. They will feel the jaw for any areas of tension and discomfort and check for popping or clicking. If your dentist decides that you could benefit from a night guard, an impression will be taken of your teeth and sent to the lab to construct your mouthguard.
In a second appointment, you will be presented with your new night guard! Your mouthguard will be checked for a correct fit and minor adjustments might be made. You will be provided with instructions on how to care for the night guard as well.
Wearing a night guard while you sleep cannot only relieve symptoms of TMJ but also protect your teeth from cracking or wearing down during fits of clenching and grinding. There are other things you can do to relieve TMJ symptoms along with wearing your night guard. These include:
If you are suffering from TMJ related jaw pain and discomfort, talk with your dentist about TMJ therapy and how you can find relief.