Jaw Disorders & Pain
Grinding or clenching your teeth can lead to a serious jaw problem, called a Temporomandibular Disorder or TMD. Left untreated, TMD can damage teeth, gums, and bones. One of the most common forms of TMD is related to a problem with the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows the upper and lower jaw to open and close when chewing or speaking.
Minor cases of TMD involve discomfort or pain in the jaw muscles. People often notice a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Frequent headaches, neck aches, and, in some cases, tooth sensitivity also can result. More serious conditions involve improperly aligned joints or dislocated jaws. In its most extreme form, TMD involves an arthritic condition of the jaw joint.
If you notice any of these symptoms, please let us know. Dr. Kevin S. Bone can suggest treatments to alleviate the condition. Dr. Bone has extensive post-graduate education in TMD, TMJ, and occlusion (defined as the contact between upper and lower teeth). He has attended the prestigious Pankey Institute in Florida for continuing education in the latest dental techniques and treatments.
Treatment Options Include:
- Somnodent, an oral appliance for sleep apnea that can alleviate jaw pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Wearing a bite splint or night guard while sleeping