Jaw troubles can be a real headache, both literally and metaphorically speaking. If you grind your teeth regularly and without thinking about it, or have some other potential symptom of a TMJ disorder, call Newingham Dental Center at 248-972-8720 for a free consultation to get a sense of whether or not a TMJ treatment could improve your quality of life.
We also offer free second opinions at our Birmingham, MI dentist office, so if you’ve been told by another dentist that you don’t have a real problem or that there’s nothing to be done about your condition, visit us today. We do a whole lot more than clean and beautify smiles because we want to do our best to provide as many services as a dental team can for your convenience.
If we determine that you do have some sort of problem with your jaw joints, we can provide a few different treatment options depending on your case, including custom-made oral appliances that will shift your jaw slightly and prevent you from grinding your teeth.
Free consultations and second opinions are only one of the ways that we take some of the financial stress out of the situation when you need to see a dentist. We also accept a large variety of payment options so you won’t have to feel like you don’t have any choices when covering the cost of your care. We even take third-party financing from CareCredit, a company that offers payment plans and interest-free options for some patients.
We also do our best to be more flexible with our hours than many other dentists are. Instead of keeping the nine-to-five schedule that you are likely used to, we offer some early morning hours and stay late until 7:00 p.m. once a week.
Learn What It’s Like To Have A TMJ Disorder
A TMJ disorder can refer to many subtly different issues, but basically, it has to do with irregular jaw function. TMJ is just an abbreviation for the technical term for your complex jaw joints, your temporomandibular joints. Patients can have a combination of a variety of symptoms if they have jaw troubles. To know for sure if you have one, you should visit us for a professional evaluation. That said, here are just a few potential signs of jaw dysfunction:
- Frequent, severe, and/or involuntary teeth grinding
- Lockjaw (whether that manifests as your mouth getting stuck in the opened or closed position or both)
- Swelling and/or tenderness around your jaw joints
- Pain in your jaw, face, neck, shoulders, or some combination of all of these
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide (like when you’re eating a tall sandwich or you have to open your mouth for a doctor)
- Ringing in your ears
- If your jaw makes noise while you chew that sound like popping, clicking, or grating
- Muscle spasms in your jaw
But a list of symptoms doesn’t necessarily give you a sense of what it’s really like to have issues with your jaw function. Let’s go into a day-in-the-life scenario to give you a better idea. If this situation sounds familiar at all, visit us for an evaluation.
You wake up in the morning with a headache and a stiff jaw. You were clenching and grinding your teeth while you slept and you didn’t even know it.
When you stand up, the headache only gets worse. You desperately want to take some sort of over-the-counter pain reliever, but you know that you should probably eat something first. You’re hungry anyway, so you feel you can tough out the pain for a bit and eat some breakfast.
When looking over your options for food, you start to realize that thinking about chewing some of them only makes you worried about your jaw pain. Granola is out of the question because it’s too crunchy. The same goes for a piece of toast. Even oatmeal sounds like it would be a little rough for you to handle because it will still require some chewing. You settle on a cup of yogurt that you can basically drink with minimum jaw movement.
You finally get to take that pain reliever on your way out the door. You’ve still got that headache for your commute to work and, of course, the drive is stressful and you end up grinding your teeth some more. You notice when you do because you feel a sharp pain that starts in your jaw and radiates outward.
Not long after you get to work, one of your coworkers announces that several employees will be going out for lunch to celebrate a team member’s birthday. Because it’s their birthday, this particular person gets to pick the restaurant, and they’ve been dying to go to that new barbecue joint.
You want to go and spend time with your coworkers, but the thought of chewing a hearty meal like that puts you off. You make an excuse and decide to slurp down a microwaveable cup of noodles that you have stashed in the breakroom.
At quitting time, you feel like you may be through the worst of it. But then…five o’clock traffic. You grind your teeth again almost the whole way home. When you arrive, you want to just relax and have an easy meal of soft foods. But your partner surprises you with a steak dinner, complete with homemade sides.
You’re so grateful for all the effort, but your jaw is killing you. You sit down, eat as much as you can while trying to ignore the pain, and then leave the table quickly, perhaps telling a white lie about being full from a big lunch. When you lay down to go to bed, you’re hungry, your jaw and your head hurt, and you just hope that tomorrow will be less painful.
If this story sounds familiar at all, call Newingham Dental Center at 248-972-8720 as soon as possible to find out if a TMJ treatment could help you. You can also book or ask questions using our online form.