What you need to know about Jaw and Bite Problems
An estimate of 10 million Americans experience jaw pain including pain in surrounding areas of the face due to jaw and bite problems. Twice as many women have jaw problems compared to men.
The source of the pain begins at the temporomandibular joints or TMJ. They are located close to both ears and are comprised of muscles, ligaments, bones and nerves. They are mainly responsible for our ability to chew food and to speak.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular Disorder or TMD is another term for TMJ. It describes different problems that are related to the movement and composition of the jaw. TMD can happen to almost anyone as long as there is a twisting, opening and closing movement of the jaw. The typical major symptom of TMD is pain; pain that is experienced in the ear, head, neck, and jaw when chewing or opening the mouth. Tenderness of the jaw muscle, inability to open or close the mouth and clicking or popping of the jaw is also a symptom of TMD. Sensitive tooth is also another sign of TMD.
What causes Jaw and Bite Problems?
Jaw and bite problems can be attributed to physical sickness such as arthritis which is not directly related to dental problems. Physical trauma or injury also plays a role in TMD. Because more women encounter TMD, some say that it can be hormone-related. Misalignment of teeth can also eventually lead to jaw problems because it puts more strain and effort to the jaw when chewing.
Experts also speculate that stress is another cause of jaw and bite problems. Mental stress and anxiety which lets the jaw exert more effort can trigger grinding of teeth or bruxism. Physical stress such as heavy lifting and hurrying for a deadline can also worsen jaw problems.
What are the Treatments for Jaw and Bite Problems?
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, consult with Dr. Davoudi so that she can give a diagnosis and recommend a treatment procedure. She will check your teeth alignment by looking at the x-rays of your teeth.
Dr. Davoudi may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to limit the pain. She might also want you to try relaxation activities in order to help you manage your stress better. Lastly, if your teeth are severely misaligned, she will propose orthodontic treatment or placement of crowns and bridges.
What to do if you have Jaw and Bite Problems?
TMJ disorders do not always require dental treatments. Several people who are experiencing these problems find that the pain and discomfort disappear after a while. Change of eating habits and lifestyle can greatly contribute to solving joint problems.
Dr. Davoudi prefers a procedure that is non-invasive and will not alter the structure of your jaw permanently. If the placement of braces and crowns can be avoided, then it is a better choice.
Schedule an appointment today!
We aim to provide comprehensive dental care to our patients in a safe and comfortable environment. Whether it is general dental care, restorative dental services or cosmetic procedures our goal is that good dental health is accomplished in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.