Lakewood Ranch, FL, dentist gets to the heart of your TMJ symptoms for therapy that works
You may have heard of “TMJ Disorder” (TMD). But did you know that TMD actually refers to damage or dysfunction associated with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)? This joint connects the jaw and the skull on both sides of the face. It works like a “hinge,” facilitating smooth movements. When the TMJ is damaged due to conditions such as arthritis, pain may arise when opening or closing the mouth. The jaw may “lock” into place. Multi-faceted TMJ therapy at the Lakewood Ranch, FL,office of Kind Smiles Dental Health is based on Dr. Allison Konick’s findings during an evaluation. She combines her extensive knowledge with advanced diagnostics, such as CBCT imaging, to identify the source of pain, stiffness, and other symptoms that affect healthy function and quality of life.
TMD troubles – effective solutions
TMJ disorder is associated with many conditions and behaviors. Basically, any time the joint and its surrounding tissues are stressed, the function of the TMJ suffers. Conditions such as grinding your teeth and clenching your jaws when you are
relaxed (during sleep) can place an excessive force on the TMJ. This condition, known as bruxism, not only erodes at the natural tooth structure and dental work, but it also breaks down the jaw joints and interconnected musculature. We design oral appliances or nightguards that are customized to your mouth. They can alleviate the pressure placed on the teeth, joints, and other tissues. When slipped over your teeth and worn during sleep, these appliances also protect oral structures from damage.
Other dental-oriented sources of TMJ strain include misaligned teeth or “bad bite.” Dr. Konick may discuss options to align your smile and relieve uneven stress placed on teeth and connected structures. These options may include intervention as seemingly simple as repairing a worn restoration, or modern, discreet orthodontic treatments like Invisalign.
Sometimes, minor modifications to your patterns and habits can support healthy function. For instance, chronic gum-chewing can place excessive force on the jaw and its complex system of components, resulting in TMJ symptoms. Avoiding the use of gum or chewing on ice and other similar behavior can provide pain relief. We may also demonstrate exercises to stretch and strengthen facial muscles.
At Kind Smiles Dental Health, serving Bradenton, Parrish, Sarasota, Palmetto, and Venice, and the surrounding area, we can help to reduce your reliance on pain medications and non-invasively treat the conditions responsible for TMD symptoms. Contact us to schedule your appointment at the Lakewood Ranch, FL office.