Temporomandibular joint disorders (known as TMJ disorders or TMD) are the most common condition affecting the jaw joint.
Discomfort is often felt in front of the ear and in the muscles around the angle of the jaw and up to the temple. Sufferers may also experience clicking in the joint, difficulty opening the mouth, limited jaw movement and occasionally a blocked sensation in the ears. There is no one cause of this condition but there are many associated ones.
As part of our routine dental examinations here at Glow Dental, we examine the jaw joint for any discomfort, clicking or popping, tell-tale signs of jaw joint problems. In addition, we look for indications of unnatural wear to the surface of the teeth that may be caused by clenching or grinding.
If you are experiencing any discomfort from your jaw region it is best to discuss the problem with one of our experienced team here in Battersea.
Some simple techniques that may alleviate the symptoms in the short term include:
Many patients clench and grind their teeth at night (or daytime in some cases). This can put stress on the joint and build up lactic acid in the muscles, leading to pain and discomfort in the jaw. Clenching and grinding of the teeth can lead to pain, fracture lines and chipping and wear, or drifting of the teeth if there is periodontal disease present.
Tooth substance is precious and in cases where patients clench and grind at night it is better to wear a night guard, so if anything is worn it is a replaceable piece of plastic not your natural teeth.
There are many different types of appliances but some that actually stop you from clenching and grinding whilst you wear them.
At Glow Dental we are able to advise you appropriately if you clench and grind your teeth or have issues with the jaw joint