Jaw Pain? When to See a Dentist
If you suffer from TMJ, or if you suspect that you have the disorder, our top Indianapolis, IN dentist has successfully treated TMJ for years.
TMJ—short for temporomandibular joint—is often used to describe disorders of the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.
At Shank Dentistry, we advise patients to come in for diagnosis and treatment sooner rather than later because TMJ can worsen without intervention.
TMJ can be subtle at first and worsen over time. Generally, symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Face pain
- Locking joint
- A clicking sound in the joint, especially when chewing or yawning
TMJ causes are many, but common culprits include bruxism, which means you’re grinding and clenching your teeth. While this is sometimes a product of anxiety, many patients grind and clench while sleeping and may notice pain in the jaw the next day or periodically. People who grind and clench their teeth may not even realize they’re doing it.
Bruxism can lead to tooth erosion, tooth loss, and alignment issues, too.
How Our Top Perry Township Dentist Can Help
Dr. Shank will evaluate your teeth for the telltale signs of bruxism. He will also take x-rays to get a closer look at the function of your joint and the alignment of your teeth. If he discovers that you have TMJ or TMJ with bruxism, he’ll create a custom TMJ treatment plan just for you.
In our dental office, we offer custom night guards in Perry Township, which are designed to fit comfortably and keep teeth slightly parted as you sleep. This device eliminates nighttime grinding and clenching.
Dr. Shank may prescribe this or another combination of therapies to save your smile and relieve your symptoms.
Don’t Ignore the Signs of TMJ
If you would like to schedule an exam to learn whether you have TMJ or bruxism, contact our friendly dental team today. Don't put off TMJ treatment!