We are committed to preventive dentistry, so we are always on the alert for symptoms that could lead to chronic difficulties like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This is a common problem that involves the joints and muscles used in chewing, swallowing & talking.
TMD can lead to localized symptoms or seemingly unrelated headaches and earaches. One of the first culprits we look for during regular examinations is bruxism.
Bruxism is the name for forceful grinding and/ or clenching of your teeth. Grinding is usually noisy; clenching is silent. Either can create so much stress on the jaw joints that patients experience serious and even debilitating muscle spasms and pain, common symptoms of TMD.
Many individuals are unaware that they “brux”, so we look for telltale signs that include:
- worn-down teeth;
- sensitive teeth;
- chipped or broken teeth;
- cracked or loose restorations;
- scarring and scalloping of the tongue and cheeks.
After a thorough evaluation, which will include a 3D scan of the joints, computerized jaw measurements, and complete examination by Dr. Green or Dr. Spiller, we will create an individualized treatment plan and consult with you about options. Oftentimes, we find sleep apnea issues as well and if so, we will discuss this too.
We recommend regular dental visits so that we can monitor your oral health – and prevent little problems of all kinds from getting bigger.