Do you experience jaw pain or locking? You are not alone! Jaw pain affects millions of Americans each year and can have a negative impact on your quality of life. The pain and discomfort that is common with TMJ, also known as TMJD or temporomandibular joint disorder, can make eating, talking, and speaking difficult.
Jaw problems can come from trauma, an accident, malocclusion (a poor bite), or from bruxism (clenching and grinding). Oftentimes, however, the cause of jaw joint pain is unknown.
Symptoms of TMJD
Symptoms from TMJD vary widely from patient to patient. Your symptoms may start out mild and worsen over time. For others, symptoms can come and go. Rarely, however, do they resolve on their own. Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:
- Clicking joints
- Locking jaw joints
- Neck aches
- Shoulder pain
- Facial pain or tenderness
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tinnitus (ringing ears)
- Gum recession
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may benefit from a comprehensive occlusal analysis with Dr. Joseph Osterbauer. Dr. Osterbauer will examine your bite, jaw joints, and signs of wear on your teeth that can indicate a problem with your jaw and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Treatment of TMJD Symptoms
At St. Anthony Village Dental Care, we provide patients just like you with relief from jaw pain with non-invasive treatment options. Additionally, if your TMJD includes bruxism, we want to protect your teeth from the cracks and damage that often accompany clenching and grinding.
We design custom occlusal splints that treat your jaw pain by aligning your jaw in an ideal position, allowing the muscles to relax. Unlike regular nightguards, occlusal splints can be worn during the day and at night, depending on your condition. Since we custom design them to fit you perfectly, they are comfortable and easy to get used to. Many patients notice an improvement within a few days.
To create your custom splint, we take impressions and a bite registration that allows us to design your splint in such a way that it brings you the greatest level of relief.
We evaluate your data (along with any digital x-rays and images), fabricate your splint in our office, and schedule your fitting. At that appointment, we will adjust it and schedule periodic follow-up adjustments to keep you comfortable and your jaw aligned properly. In addition to aligning your jaw, your splint will provide a barrier between your upper and lower teeth that will absorb some of the force from clenching and grinding to help prevent cracked teeth.
Dr. Osterbauer will discuss treatment details such as how long to wear your splint and how often to schedule follow-up appointments so that you get the most out of your splint therapy.
Call Us Today for an Occlusal Evaluation
If you suffer from jaw pain, call our St. Anthony, MN dental office to schedule an exam. Jaw conditions can worsen over time and sometimes require surgery. The sooner you come to our office, the sooner you can feel comfortable and enjoy life again.