Around the holiday season, you may notice yourself experiencing higher than normal levels of stress and anxiety. 2020 has been an especially tough year for many people. If you find yourself holding a lot of your stress and anxiety in your own facial muscles as the year ends, beware of the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders. Learn more below:
Treating Jaw Pain in Durham, NC
Chronic jaw pain, also known as a TMJ disorder, typically occurs over time. Patients may have a history of teeth grinding as a child or young adult. Any individual who holds a lot of their stress and anxiety in their facial muscles and jawbone are more likely to develop a TMJ disorder. Additionally, patients with misaligned or crooked teeth are also at a higher risk for developing this disorder.
TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joints of your jaw become inflamed or damaged. We usually see this happen with patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaw throughout the day. This is because your jawbone is only capable of withstanding certain levels of pressure. To combat the progression of a TMJ disorder, we often recommend that our patients leave themselves reminders around their homes and workspaces to relax their facial muscles and loosen their jaw. Allow all of the stress and anxiety in your jawbone to move somewhere else for a few minutes. This will give your joints time to rest from the additional pressure.
Dr. Blaylock has extensive post graduate training in the treatment of bite disorders such as TMJ and applies the Dawson Academy principles of complete dentistry when recommending treatment. Complete dentistry focuses on a thorough examination of all parts of the occlusal system, looking for signs of instability that can be the underlying cause of dental health concerns. Identifying dental problems with a holistic approach improves both results and the patient experience. Together, you can Dr. Blaylock can come up with a long term plan to manage your TMJ symptoms and prevent future dental damages.
Mouthguard and Splint Therapy
As a conservative option, your dentist in Durham, NC will often recommend the use of a bite guard to alleviate TMJ disorder symptoms, or a dental splint. A bite guard or splint is often a first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position. We may also recommend bite correction therapy as a more aggressive approach to severe cases of TMJ. In cases where teeth have been significantly worn and damaged restorative dentistry may be needed to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dr. Blaylock may use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding to restore teeth.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you suspect you are showing signs of developing a TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blaylock today.