Proven Ways To Avoid TMJD

 In Preventative Dentistry

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) is an ailment that results in persistent or disturbing jaw pain. The condition usually affects joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull through the temporal bone. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that TMJD affects between 5% and 12% of the US population, and is more prevalent in women than men. Sadly, most patients wait until the condition gets severe before seeing a dentist. Here are proven ways to avoid TMJD.

Symptoms Of TMJD

  • Pain while chewing
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Painful ears
  • Popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth
  • Aching pain in your face

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s wise to see your dentist if they don’t subside after a few days.

What Causes TMJD?

The exact cause of TMJD remains unknown, but dentists believe it occurs from problems with the jaw muscles or other joint parts. Apart from injury, other causes or risk factors include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Type of arthritis, like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • Connective tissue conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint
  • Stress which strains jaw and facial muscles
  • Lack of dental care

How To Avoid TMJD

Manage Stress

Since the jaw is a sensitive area, it is likely to be affected by stress by causing tension of the muscles. As such, make sure you take time to relax by exercising or taking part in activities such as meditation, yoga, and massage.

Use Night Guard

Most patients with TMJD often report clenching or grinding their teeth, especially at night. The good news is that your dentist can easily pinpoint the signs of clenching or grinding. He/she may recommend a night guard to safeguard your teeth while you sleep.

The guard usually protects your enamel from teeth grinding. Some even stabilize your lower jaw topping it from moving at night. After careful examination, your dentist will recommend the most suitable mouth guard for you based on your needs.

Consider Orthodontic Treatment

Although orthodontic treatment is not suitable for every patient, it can be helpful. For instance, if your bite is poorly aligned, the lower joint may not fit into the upper. That often puts strain on the temporomandibular joint resulting in harmful movements which get worse over time. So ask your dentist if you can benefit from the treatment.

See Your Dentist Regularly

As mentioned, poor dental care leads to oral issues such as TMJD. So if you want to avoid it completely, schedule regular appointments with your dentist. He/she can easily pinpoint issues during your visits and help prevent them from getting severe.

The team of dentists at South Holston Dental Designs wants you to have a bright smile without worrying about TMJD. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of them.

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