Temporomandibular Jaw Disorders (TMJ)
Dentist Oatlands and Jaw disorders temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
Dentists look after more than the teeth, gums and mouth. They have training in facial muscles and anatomy so that they can also look after problems with the jaw. Some individuals suffer ‘clicking’ in one or both sides of their jaw. This may or may not be painful. This Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can be dealt with by the dentist.
Our jaws are supposed to work as a symmetrical, matched manner. If there is any asymmetry then the jaw can be out of alignment, and suffer problems. Jaw alignment problems are sometimes the result of trauma, caused by a sufficiently heavy blow to one side of the face. Some jaw alignment problems are hereditary- the jawbones formed in a slightly off-centre shape. Else, a bad chewing habit, always favouring one side of the mouth, may steadily cause the jaw to develop some asymmetry.
It is possible for jaw alignment problems to be caused by a combination of factors. An earlier injury on one side of the face may cause us to chew on the other side of the mouth, eventually leading to an alignment problem that causes clicking or pain. It is not uncommon for people to start chewing with one side of their mouth if they recently had a dental operation on the other side. This may lead to temporary jaw clicking. Once the patient starts chewing correctly the alignment problems should steadily fade.
Dentist Newington Causes of jaw problems.
• Always chewing on one side of the mouth. The other side of the mouth tend to develop the clicking problem
• Grinding or clenching teeth whist asleep.
• Stress that causes teeth clenching. This often goes unnoticed.
• Migraine headaches that cause us to clench the jaw.
• An injury to one side of the jaw. Perhaps causing us to use the other side more.
• Genetics – we are born with an asymmetrical jaw.
• A tooth alignment problem may lead to asymmetrical jaw problems, at least partially because normal chewing is difficult.
Most Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are not too serious. While a few grow worse over time most simply stay as they are, being only a minor hindrance.
Dentist Telopea Fixing jaw problems.
• Chewing on the other side of the mouth will often alleviate the problem. This often means chewing with the side of the jaw that suffers the ‘click’.
• Chewing gum can help. If we chew on the side of the jaw that has the problem we can steadily restore the balance.
• A mouthguard will prevent nigh time tooth grinding and lessen jaw clenching.
• Have teeth alignment corrected by braces or other dental work can significantly benefit the jaw, and remove the problem over time.
• Occasionally the jaw needs to be operated on.
Jaw problems Dentist Denistone
Most jaw problems are not serious and will not grow any worse. If we develop some good chewing habits the problem will steadily disappear.
If you jaw problem does get worse, or if the problem is hard to live with, then you should consult the dentist for treatment