- January 25, 2016
You had the dream again, didn’t you?
You know, the one where you’re naked on the school bus? Or the one where you’re speaking in public, but the words won’t come out? How about the one where you bet your mortgage on the outcome of the Pistons game?
Or maybe you just wake up from a night’s sleep with a sore jaw, wondering if you’ve been sleep-eating shoe leather.
If you’re experiencing pain in your jaw but have no idea what’s causing it—which can be especially confusing if you’re brushing and flossing above the daily recommended frequency—chances are you could be the victim of one or both of these silent assassins:
- Bruxism, a five-dollar word for grinding your teeth in your sleep; or
- A condition known as TMJ disorder, also referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the connective tissue that links your jaw to your skull, located right below the ears.
Whether it’s one, the other, or both, we specialize in treatments to conquer these nocturnal afflictions to help give your teeth a much needed rest, and to repair damage that you might not even be aware of in the first place.
Ironically, it’s a mouthful.
TMJ disorder occurs when that connective tissue linking your jaw and head becomes misaligned, and winds up getting into parts of the joint where it doesn’t belong, causing pain and stress on the tissue itself.
It’s a problem that you cannot brush or floss your way out of, unfortunately, as the causes range from the psychological—be it stress or anxiety— to actual physical trauma to the jaw or excessive teeth grinding.
Chances are, this can happen to you through no fault of your own, so there’s no need to feel guilty, especially if you’re in pain. Sometimes, your jaw can become misaligned due to previous work that made your bite “uneven,” and over time caused it to drift into its current, painful state.
Whatever the cause, waiting to get it corrected can have profound negative consequences on your ability to speak and eat properly.
The sooner you call us to schedule an appointment, the sooner we can start fixing it before the problem worsens. There’s no need for you to suffer in silence, or wait until the problem advances to the point where invasive surgery might be required, so let us help you now!
Treating TMJ disorder usually begins with X-ray analysis and patient consultation. In doing so, our team can better understand how to approach successful treatment, to identify the extent of tissue misalignment, and to diagnose the cause.
That treatment, more often than not, involves us crafting a specially molded teeth guard that comfortably fits inside your mouth, almost like a boxer’s bite-guard, and which extends your jaw to fix the improper bite. It can also prevent your teeth from coming into contact with one another, eliminating wear on your tooth enamel.
And as we said earlier, sometimes an uneven crown or other dental installation on one side of your jaw can be throwing off the balance of your entire mouth. In that case, a simple, non-invasive procedure can do the trick more often than not.
Grinding More Than Your Gears
The other culprit of a mysteriously sore jaw (and often a partner-in-crime to TMJ disorder) is bruxism, or teeth grinding, which usually happens while you’re sleeping—and we say usually, because sometimes you may even notice that you’re grinding your teeth at work, or making dinner for the family, or simply while you’re trying to relax.
We’ll apply similar methods to diagnosing this problem, with the solution more often than not a bite-guard to protect your teeth from your teeth while you sleep.
If untreated, bruxism can wear your teeth down like a jackhammer to asphalt in slow-motion; you won’t be fully aware that there is a problem until the problem is huge, and painful. By that point, more serious methods must be considered to address the problem, and can result in an emergency surgery situation.
Our bite-guards are custom-fitted to ensure maximum comfort and protection that’s unique to you, and come in a variety of colors, and offer more protection than over-the-counter alternatives.
Even more, they can be designed to be used in a variety of athletic activities, which means you can use them to protect your teeth when you’re working up a sweat at the gym or on the field.
On that note, we’d also recommend activities which can decrease the overall level of stress in your life. A proper diet and regular exercise and clinically proven to improve mood and ease anxiety.
But there is no safer substitute for the professional services we can offer you if you’re suffering from one or both of these silent tooth killers, and you simply can’t afford to take a “wait-and-see” approach until it’s too late and your options are limited to more invasive techniques.
If you’ve got a phantom pain in your jaw, don’t hesitate to call us at 248-972-8720 to set up a free consultation before the problem gets out of hand. You can also schedule an appointment with us online without even picking up the phone if it’s too painful to talk.
If you think the problem is all in your head, you’re only partly right, so let us take care of it before you wake up one morning and the pain is too much to bear.