Does your jaw often feel stiff or painful? Does it pop or click all the time? Do you frequently experience headaches or earaches? If so, these all point to a possible temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. A TMD refers to an issue dealing with the sensitive jaw joint, known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Your TMJs are the small hinges located in front of your ears that allow your jaw to move smoothly whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn. These joints can sometimes become strained or misaligned, leading to dental and overall health issues. Fortunately, South Windsor Dental is able to diagnose and treat this painful condition.
TMD can be brought on by different factors, but the most common causes tend to be stress, injury, or arthritis in jaw joints. Typical symptoms include nighttime teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, and chronic pain that can affect the jaw as well as the head, neck, and shoulders. When you come to see us exhibiting these symptoms, Dr. Sara Curcio will examine your teeth and jaw to determine the root cause of your symptoms, and depending on her observations, she can then recommend a variety of treatments.
When the jaw is misaligned due to TMD, this can cause the teeth to come together incorrectly, putting a tremendous amount of pressure on very small areas of enamel. This can create quite a bit of pain because it literally shifts the teeth within the sockets, pinching the nerve. To address this, Dr. Curcio will take an impression of your teeth, find your high-pressure spots, and gently reshape them so that your teeth come together smoothly and painlessly.
An occlusal splint is a custom-made mouthpiece that can be used to alleviate the symptoms and pain associated with TMD. When a patient wears one, it gently shifts the jaw muscles into a more relaxed and natural position. Over time, the muscles may be able to find this new position on their own without the assistance of the splint, but for many patients, they will need to wear it indefinitely to continue seeing results.
If you have persistent pain in your jaw, head, neck, or shoulders, TMD might just be the culprit, and we can help you get the relief you need. To schedule an appointment, simply contact us today.