TMJ/ SORE JAWS/ CLENCHING & GRINDING
TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint, is a joint in the jaw that can result in pain with problems in the joint and surrounding tissue. This is called TMD which means temporomandibular disorder. This includes clicking of the jaw, pain in the joint, and muscle pain/stiffness. The joints in your jaw are networked with nerves that also go to your mouth, where the pain and discomfort may be radiating from.
Causes of TMD
Like any other joint, the TMJ is subject to orthopedic problem including sore muscles, strained tendons and ligaments, inflammation, and disk problems. This can occur for many different reasons including genetics, gender, age, missing and grinding teeth, and even stress.
Treatment for TMJ Pain
When you are a child, your first loose tooth can be cause for celebration; when you are an adult, it definitely is not. Biting and chewing with a tooth that is not securely attached in its socket can be difficult or even painful — and any tooth that becomes loose is at risk of needing to be removed or, at worst, falling out. It’s often possible to prevent that from happening, but quick action is required.
The most common reason for tooth looseness is periodontal disease — a bacterial infection of the gum and/or bone tissues that surround and support your teeth. The infection results from bacterial plaque that sits on your teeth in the absence of effective oral hygiene. Over time, periodontal disease will cause gum tissue to detach from the teeth as plaque and tartar formation increases and tooth-supporting bone is lost. As more bone is lost, teeth gradually become loose and are unable to withstand normal biting forces. If severe periodontal disease remains untreated, loose teeth will eventually fall out.
To control gum disease, a dental professional must thoroughly clean the teeth of plaque and harder deposits (tartar or calculus) in which bacteria thrive; this includes the tooth-root surfaces beneath the gum line. At the same visit, you will be instructed on effective oral hygiene techniques and products to use at home. Often this type of deep cleaning, combined with improved oral hygiene, will reduce inflammation and heal the gums enough to cause some tightening of the teeth.
Loose teeth can be successfully treated with both biological and mechanical techniques. A thorough examination will be needed to determine the best approach. So if you are experiencing tooth looseness, don’t wait — the sooner this problem is addressed, the more likely you are to keep your natural teeth.
Sensitive teeth can occur for several reasons, often affecting patients when they eat or drink foods that are cold, hot or sweet. In many cases, teeth sensitivity is related to loss of enamel that leads to exposure of the dentin. However, cracked or broken teeth can also result in sensitivity. In either case, an inspection from Dr. Shattuck should be sought to determine the cause and treat the problem for the comfort and safety of patients.
People don’t generally think of a dentist as the healthcare professional to see for recurring headaches or migraines; yet dentists can play a role in diagnosing and even treating your condition. That’s because quite often, recurring pain that is felt in the area of the temples on the sides of the head is actually caused by unconscious habits of clenching and/or grinding the teeth. These habits, which often manifest during sleep, put tremendous pressure on the muscles that work your jaw joint, also called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).