We know that your teeth have a lifetime of hard work to do. Day in and day out, your teeth are subjected to such tremendous forces that the signs of wear and tear are not necessarily a surprise. However, signs of excessive wear on the teeth can signal an underlying problem that could have long-term consequences.
Your Walnut Creek CA dentist is trained to identify the signs of excessive wear and provide the preventive or restorative treatments that can extend the life of your teeth and dental work.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/ TMD), is a common disorder of the jaw joint and corresponding muscles, affecting more than 60 million patients each year. The condition is often mistaken for an ear ache or dismissed as a “normal” symptom of daily stress. The symptoms can range from occasional discomfort to chronic dysfunction, and may include:
- Popping and clicking as you open and close the mouth
- Shifting of the jaw as you open the mouth
- Headache, ear ache, neck pain
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Limited ability to open the mouth
By identifying the cause of your symptoms, we can provide treatment solutions that are designed to prevent them. Most patients experience an increase in their TMJ/TMD symptoms is response to physical or emotional stress. Habits such as clenching or grinding of the teeth can overwork the muscles that control the jaw. Since this occurs most frequently at night, most patients find it difficult or impossible to control.
The appropriate treatment for TMJ/TMD can vary depending on your lifestyle habits, the severity of the condition, and the health of your bite and jaw joints. Typically, prevention is the best solution for most patients. This may include avoiding chewing gums and foods that are difficult to chew. It may also be helpful to adjust your bite and improve the way that your teeth fit together.
To reduce stress on the teeth and the jaw joints at night, a customized appliance known as a night guard can be designed just for you. The night guard will enable the jaw muscles to relax and protect your teeth from the force of constant grinding.
To learn more about night guards and other proven, conservative, and non-surgical solutions for your worn teeth or TMJ symptoms, we invite you to contact our Walnut Creek CA dental office today.