TMJ care in Vancouver
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and refers to the jaw joints at the side of the face. TMJ or TMD is an umbrella term that refers to any dysfunction of the TMJ jaw joints, including pain, swelling or clicking.
Our jaw joints are engaged many times a day during activities such as eating, speaking, or even swallowing. Patients who tend to breath through the mouth or have misalignment issues will often put more strain on the jaw joints. TMJ disorders can sometimes can co-occur with other conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Therefore, TMJ disorders are common and generally not serious. However, continued pain and discomfort in the jaw joints can be very stressful and interfere with a patient’s daily life. At our dental clinic in Vancouver, we work with patients who are suffering from TMJ pain to determine what the contributing factors are in order to help formulate a specialized treatment plan.
Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is often seen in patients who suffer from TMD. Often, a patient will unconsciously grind their teeth or clench their jaws during sleep. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the jaw joints and can result in pain which radiates to the neck and can even cause headaches in the morning. In these cases, a custom made night guard will protect the teeth and alleviate pressure on the jaw. Stress can often exacerbate grinding and clenching, so we often recommend that patients with TMD make an effort to reduce stress in their lives.
If misalignment of the teeth is contributing to TMJ pain, orthodontics may be able to help. By shifting the teeth into the correct position, the patient’s bite will be more balanced and less pressure will be put on the jaw joints.
If you have pain in your jaw joints or think that you may be suffering from TMD, give us a call or contact us online to book an appointment.