TMJ PAIN AND THE AWFUL STRESS CONNECTION
TMJ pain can start out small and rare, but unless you treat it, it can soon stress you out. That can only make the pain worse. Call us today at 205-545-8007 to schedule an initial appointment for TMJ treatment. Our dentists have the training necessary to help you before your TMJ pain gets out of hand.
How TMJ Pain Grows Worse
What is TMJ? It’s the joint and muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth. When you chew, drink, talk, or even laugh, you move your jaw with your temporomandibular joints (or TMJ). As you can see, your TMJ are very important. When you start to get problems there, you’re having problems with talking, chewing, and so on.
Because all your muscles are interconnected, TMJ pain can spread out and cause other problems.. People with TMJ disorder often suffer from the following:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Upper back pain
- Tinnitus and earaches
- Jaw pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Jaw stiffness and lockjaw
That’s why you should make an appointment with our Birmingham, AL dental office today if you have any of these symptoms. Early detection and treatment are keys to successful treatment. Our dentists are both highly trained and experienced in treating TMJ disorders, helping you live pain-free once again.
The Role Of Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth (also called bruxism) just makes things worse. As you grind your teeth together, you’re putting extra stress on your TMJ. Such grinding often happens at night when your jaw joints and muscles need to rest. By using them over and over again each night, you’re hurting your TMJ without realizing it.
In addition, grinding your teeth creates worn spots on your enamel. These spots are more prone to damage and cavities.
Stress Makes It All Worse
If things weren’t bad enough, stress can make it all even worse. That’s because stress can make your muscles tighten up and get sore.
Part of what makes your TMJ hurt (and all the related problems) is because your jaw muscles are sore. Normally, they can rest at night. But TMJ pain is related to grinding your teeth, which deprives the muscles of the rest they need.
When you’re stressed, your jaw muscles get even worse. This increases the discomfort and problems you experience, which stresses you out. That hurts your muscles even more, and so on. It creates a bad cycle that’s really hard to break.
TMJ Pain And Teeth Grinding Treatment
Thankfully, you can get treatment for TMJ pain and teeth grinding at our Birmingham, AL dental office. Since TMJ pain is related to your jaw and mouth, our dentists can help with splint therapy.
First, our dentists will thoroughly examine your jaw and TMJ joints to correctly identify the problem areas. Digital X-rays are sometimes used to help. Then you received a custom-made dental splint or oral appliance.
This is a small, comfortable device made from smooth plastic. You wear this over your teeth at night just like you would a mouthguard, only it’s smaller and easy to deal with. The splint takes some of the stress off your jaw while you sleep. This gives your TMJ time to rest and heal up like it should be doing naturally.
If you are suffering from chronic headaches or migraines due to TMJ pain, you can also get an NTI splint that helps reduce the head pain as well.
Do you need splint therapy to treat TMJ pain? Like many problems in life, TMJ pain rarely goes away on its own. Instead, the pain and related symptoms just get worse over time. What starts out as a little jaw stiffness and discomfort can change into migraines and lockjaw. That’s why TMJ treatment is so important.
Call us TODAY at 205-545-8007 or use our online form to make your first appointment for TMJ treatment. Thanks to our dentists’ expertise and practical experience in TMJ treatment, you can soon be on the road to living without TMJ pain.