The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the lower jawbone to the skull. Patients who have injured the TMJ or have stress on these joints can experience painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Additionally, patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can wear down their natural tooth enamel and the muscles in their jaw joints.
Common signs of TMJ disorders include:
- Jaw pain
- Pain in the chewing muscles
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty or pain eating hard or crunchy foods
- Earaches and ear pain
- Muscle spasms
Contact our dental office if you have noticed any changes in the comfort of your teeth and jaw. TMD symptoms can be subtle at first, but they can damage the natural tooth enamel over time. We can also find signs of TMD at regular visits, so continue to make biannual appointments.
Treat TMJ Disorders in Gettysburg, PA
Oral appliances, physical therapy, and a soft diet can help patients with TMD. Nightguards are oral appliances that cover the upper or lower tooth arch. Patients who clench or grind their teeth during sleep benefit from wearing a custom nightguard. Dr. Tempel can create custom nightguards using dental impressions. The nightguards are made of hard acrylic that inhibits tooth grinding. The nightguard also relieves pressure on the jaw joints and muscles to minimize wear.
Patients can also benefit from physical therapy, where they can learn exercises to relax their face and jaw. Additionally, a soft diet can break the jaw from hard or crunchy foods. Eating these foods can lead to pain for patients with TMD. Patients can eat softer foods during treatment and gradually introduce harder foods as they heal their TMJ.
Treat TMD Today
Do you often find yourself clenching your jaw? Are morning headaches a frequent problem? Request a dental appointment with Dr. Tempel online or call Gettysburg Smiles at (717) 853-1552. Let us know if you have questions about TMD, and we will answer them at your next visit.