Many people have heard of TMJ and may not fully understand what this is. The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint. It is the joint that connects the mandible to the rest of the face. When people say they have TMJ, they are referring to TMJ disorder. This disorder has to do with the muscles that surround and power the TMJ. There are a variety of problems that people can develop with respect to the TMJ; however, most of these problems inhibit the patient’s ability to chew or speak. For example, people may notice that their jaw gets tired easily when they are eating tough foods. They may also feel like their jaw doesn’t open or close smoothly. Opening and closing the jaw could also be painful for the patient. These are examples of common problems that can develop with the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. Some patients may only need to take over the counter pain medication or ice packs to fix the pain that they’re having in their TMJ. Other patients may need to visit the dentist to investigate alternative treatment options.
What are Bruxing and Clenching?
Bruxing is also known as bruxism (or clenching) and this is the dental name that is given to teeth grinding. There are many people who grind their teeth and some people may not even realize that they’re doing it. It could be a nervous tick or it could be something that people only do at night. Regardless, teeth grinding is a habit that can have several different consequences on a patient’s oral health and overall health. Patients who grind their teeth at night may notice that they wake up with jaw pain or headaches. This is due to the stress that patients place on their jaw and face when they grind their teeth during the night. In addition, patients who grind their teeth will wear down the enamel coating of their teeth. This can weaken the teeth and make it easier for cavities to develop. It could also cause the teeth to move and create a misalignment of the jaw. Many people who grind their teeth will wear an oral appliance during the night to prevent the teeth from grinding. This oral appliance may cause some mild discomfort at first; however, the oral appliance works by changing the alignment of the jaw to prevent the teeth from touching each other and grinding during the night. This appliance can help to resolve many of the symptoms that patients experience. It will also protect the teeth from being worn down.
More than Just TMJ, Bruxing, and Clenching
These are only a few of the many dental issues that patients may need to visit a dentist for. Patients who are looking for an Aliso Viejo Dentist should contact Premier Dental of South Orange County located in Aliso Viejo, CA with Dr. T. Duc Pham, DDS and Dr. Marian Bradford, DDS. Dr. Bradford and Dr. Pham are an accomplished team or dentists that are capable of handling a wide variety of dental issues. Call today for more information.