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Archive for Austin TMJ disorder specialist

What TMJ Disorder Does to Your Oral Health

While TMD is a disorder of the joint that connects both arches of your jaw, its effects go far beyond jaw issues. Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint can have an impact on your oral health and your overall feeling of wellness, producing headaches and even neck and shoulder aches.

In terms of health and aesthetic of your teeth, TMJ disorder throws off the balance of your bite and causes you to constantly clench or grind your teeth, with the resulting effects on your oral health being:

Wearing down of biting surfaces – Patients with TMD often involuntarily grind their teeth, especially while sleeping. This persistent pressure on the biting surfaces of teeth causes abnormal wear and tear. Worn-down teeth eventually need to be treated with dental crowns for aesthetics and to reinforce them for improved oral function, such as biting and chewing.

Cracking or chipping teeth – In addition to worn-down teeth, TMJ disorder also causes teeth to crack and break from persistent jaw clenching. Cracked teeth require additional dental work, in the way of prosthetics (veneers or crowns) and possibly even root canals.

Diminished bite quality – Dysfunction of the jaw joints can eventually wear on cartilage and make things like biting, chewing, and even opening your mouth difficult and painful. Bad bite alignment due to genetics can also be something that aggravates TMD symptoms, making bite balance a cyclical issue for TMJ therapy.

Just about everyone has some small degree of TMD, but severe cases produce visible and uncomfortable drawbacks for dental patients. The best way to protect your oral health, and prevent the need for more complex dental care down the road, is to take a proactive approach to taking care of your TMD.

At Austin Smile Creations, we offer effective and comfortable therapies to help you manage your temporomandibular joint disorder, including treatment with splints, Botox®, and other procedures to prevent grinding and clenching of teeth. We can also help restore the alignment of your bite with non-invasive restorative dental therapies. Contact our office today to learn more about TMD side effects and how they can be treated.


Headaches and Jaw Pain? Check Your Posture!

If you experience frequent headaches and pain in your lower jaw, check your posture and consult your dentist about temporomandibular disorder (TMD), recommends the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

Poor posture places the spine in a position that causes stress to the jaw joint. When people slouch or hunch over, the lower jaw shifts forward, causing the upper and lower teeth to not fit together properly, and the skull moves back on the spinal column.

This movement puts stress on muscles, joints and bones and, if left untreated, can create pain and inflammation in muscles and joints when the mouth opens and closes.

“Good posture is important, yet many people don’t realize how posture affects their oral health,” says AGD spokesperson Ludwig Leibsohn, DDS.

Dr. Leibsohn treats patients who have complained of facial pain. “Their posture often is unbalanced, and this rearranges the position of the facial muscles, causing the bumps and grooves on the upper and lower teeth not to fit properly together,” said Dr. Leibsohn.

An oral appliance can help align the teeth in a position that will reduce facial pain caused by poor posture. The appliance can also prevent future damage to teeth.

By AGD. Updated: November 2008

A TMJ disorder specialist ( TMD specialist) such as Dr. Tor Gotun in Austin, will be able to do a thorough diagnostics and a treatment recommendation for any TMJ disorder.