You’ve always lived an active lifestyle and loved doing just about anything outdoors. The medals hung up on your wall of fame show off your skills, in particular, your grace in the swimming pool. Your athleticism came to a halt after diving into shallow waters and getting a concussion. Little did you know that knock to the head shifted the plates within your jaws and tweaked your temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s). Since then, you’ve been experiencing consistent headaches and swelling on the sides of your face that stop you from enjoying the activities you really love. Your dentist in Agawam, Dr. Frank A Michitti, wants to help you recover from this painful, even debilitating health condition. We have the therapy options you need!
What is TMJ disorder?
First off, let’s explain what a “TMJ” is. Temporomandibular joints are triangle-shaped joints made of muscle and cartilage. They are located on each side of your head, just in front of your ears. These joints help your mouth open and close—pretty essential to our everyday lives, right? Without properly functioning TMJ’s, we cannot function properly enough to eat and speak painlessly. Your TMJ’s can become damaged for a multitude of reasons. The most common factors that cause TMJ disorder is extreme stress, an improper bite, or sudden trauma to areas around your head and mouth.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Take into consideration the causes of TMJ disorder. A dangerous combination of extra stress, a bit less sleep at night, added to a change in your bite, and your whole TMJ system can be thrown off balance. Even a small, seemingly irrelevant concussion could be a physical stressor that can send this crucial system into overdrive. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Consistent headaches
- “Sticking” or “locking” jaws
- Swelling on either side of your face
- Tenderness in your face, jaws, shoulders, or neck
- Grinding or clenching your jaws uncontrollably
- Pain around your ears when you eat or speak
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when eating or speaking
- Sudden uncomfortable bite, as if your upper and lower teeth are not fitting correctly
How can Lifetime Dental help my TMJ disorder?
Our office has a few different approaches to help eliminate your TMJ discomfort. One popular way to help is by our dentist prescribing a custom-fitted occlusal splint (oral appliance) that you can wear at night. This bite guard acts as a barrier in between your grating teeth while at the same time realigning your bite, protecting your smile.
Dr. Michitti can also correct any crowded, loose, or missing teeth with an occlusal adjustment (removing or adding teeth into their correct places) to get your smile back on balance. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our office. We are committed to providing comprehensive dental care and information, leading Agawam patients to restored oral health.